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{LaB} » Place It! Planning as Play

Place It! Planning as Play

Los Angeles transit model created by Place It workshop participant

Los Angeles transit model created by Place It workshop participant

“The idea is simple: everyone is a planner.  Everyone has a relationship to the city, and uses it in certain ways.  It’s our job to get people’s ideas to the surface”

What is the vision for our city?  Taking notes from the Los Angeles artists, James Rojas has found a way to convey abstract planning concepts and models to conquer the awkward boring community planning meetings; his weapons: playful and personal materials that bridges age, income and even language barriers.  At his workshops Rojas provides an array of toys and everyday objects, including but far from limited to plastic eggs, wooden blocks, hair rollers, dice, Legos, bottle caps, golf tees, rubber erasers, anything you can find in the dollar store or bottom of the toy chest.  Whether drawn by color, texture or associated memories individuals quickly connect with the media. In the space allotted by a piece of construction paper each participant is asked convey ” your ideal city,” ” a public space for your kids,” or ” imagine your ideal alternative transportation system.”  Limited and inspired by the objects, participants create physically spatial but inherently conceptual models within twenty minutes followed by one minute presentations.

Place It workshop

Place It workshop

Participants model their ideal cities

Participants model their ideal cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hundreds of workshops Rojas and his team have conducted across the world are only half of his project. They also produce large model cities, made of a similar array of materials, which are housed in art galleries or at conventions or in some cases, a popular sidewalk. Regardless of location, all models are intended to be interactive or manipulated by the public and far too colorful and delightful to ignore.

Santa Monica Off The Grid, 2009 created by James Rojas

Santa Monica Off The Grid, 2009 created by James Rojas

Curator Ichiro Irie playing with James Rojas’ interactive model of Hollywood

Curator Ichiro Irie playing with James Rojas’ interactive model of Hollywood



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