This weekend, NYC DOT invited the Uni Project to join a new public space initiative called Shared Streets in Lower Manhattan. For several hours, pedestrians, cyclists, and cars shared the historic streets and motorists were encouraged to drive 5 mph. (This is advanced urban stuff; you can find shared streets over in Europe.) We were pleased to sign on, and we deployed Uni READ and DRAW at two separate locations.
READ spent the day on Wall St in front of Federal Hall, the birthplace of American government. DRAW landed at Bowling Green in front of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). At READ, we curated a special selection of books for this historic location, including shelves dedicated to NMAI, the Skyscraper Museum, the China Institute, and Federal Hall National Memorial. Thanks to all these great partners and NYC DOT!
Uni on Wall Street:
One of our first visitors ran a Halal cart up the street. Solving the Tangram.
A new shelf of books generously donated by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. These books will join the Uni collection and travel the city.
A shelf of books on loan for the day from the nearby Skyscraper Museum.
A shelf of books on loan for the day from nearby Federal Hall National Memorial.
A new shelf of books generously donated by the China Institute. Thank you to all today's book partners!
Uni Volunteer Greig Roselli introduces the collection to some visitors.
We deployed our new kiosk, which directs passersby to nearby museums, libraries, and other learning opportunities.
Suddenly, there was a marching band and dancers! Bring it.
Hungry March Band.
Special thanks to Uni Site manager Joyee Yan, who can handle any situation on the street, including an NYPD cruiser that needed to park in the reading room.
Thanks to our partner NYC DOT. Stay tuned for more photos from our second location today at Bowling Green!
Uni at Bowling Green:
Uni DRAW opens at Bowling Green.
Pro tip from the Uni Project: when temps are hitting high 90's, take staff photos at the start of your day, not the end. Thanks Liana and Leah!
After a unanimous decision, we moved across the plaza to the shade of the museum.
Incorporating architectural stamps into drawings.
Leah showed people a technique: charcoal rubbing. It was a big hit.
A courtroom artist stopped by the Uni and chatted with Liana and her mother, Jane Bock.
Jane and I worked together at The Legal Aid Society, and Jane recognized the artist's work from back in the day.
Thanks everyone for stopping by the Uni during Shared Streets!
We're getting a "new" name... Street Lab.
The Uni Project is the work of Street Lab, a nonprofit launched in 2006 in Boston, where we created community-oriented programs for public space. In 2011, we migrated Street Lab to New York City and launched the Uni Project. The Uni began as a single, portable reading room and has since grown into a city-wide initiative offering more than 700 days of pop-up programming in 150+ public spaces across the city. In 2019, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.
For now, details about our programs are available here on the Uni Project web site. Soon, that content will move to www.streetlab.org. Thanks for sticking with us!