Here’s a design project you might enjoy: for this year’s Park(ing) Day NYC — oh, you never heard of it? Here’s the explanation; basically they turn ordinary parking spaces into mini-parks for a day. The organizers have reason to believe this will be its Biggest Year Yet, as the city’s reclamation of Times Square has accustomed people to the idea of turning asphalt into urban hangs.
Where were we? Right: For this year’s Park(ing) Day, September 18, the green and groovy folks at Transportation Alternatives has introduced a competition for which you probably don’t need two years at Parsons to qualify: just design a portable, affordable “park in a box.” The complete rules are here, but basically your P in a B has to contain no more than $20 worth of materials, must unfold into a portable parkland no bigger than 8’x15′, and must be able to retract into a box or tote that a normal person could haul around comfortably — that is, not one of those gargantuan loads you see on backpackers in Port Authority. Oh, and it must be sustainable, and be submitted by September 1.
No cash prizes (these people are basically hippies) but the winner’s Park in a Box will be “fabricated and sold on the T.A. website for parking space conversions all year round,” which is flattering and good cred. We’re planning to stuff an old rug and some pine needles into a graphics shipping tube and staple a belt to it. Surely you can do better!