While we loved KidsSTOP, I did wonder why it reminded me of many children’s museums we had been to in the United States (namely The Children’s Museum of Manhattan). And I discovered that JRA (Jack Rouse Associates), a group of writers, planners, designers, media producers and project managers based in Cincinnati, Ohio, provided master planning, concept design, and schematic design for this groundbreaking project, and are the firm behind a number of children’s museums in the U.S. and elsewhere. No wonder I liked this familiar thing!
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Though #sghaze has receded some, we spent the afternoon indoors in a creative play space that is nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Playeum: The Children’s Centre for Creativity is an organization with whom I have collaborated, and now it has a permanent space in Gillman Barracks. Playeum is designed to encourage children ages one to twelve to play via installations, hands-on exploration, creative interactions, workshops, and a rotating slate of exhibitions.
Playeum’s first exhibition, timed to coincide with the F1 Grand Prix, is The Art of Speed, which “allows inspiration to travel in all directions.” The Preschooler especially enjoyed the “Create for Speed” installation, where she experimented with cars and ramps of different shapes and sizes with much joy, and “Shadow Play” in the Dark Space by artist Isabelle Desjeux, where she played with light and movement with innovative props that cast enchanting shadows. The Main Space also includes a soft play area for babies and toddlers, and the Play Maker Space features household and recycled objects, along with simple materials like tape, string and rubber bands, where children have the freedom to create their own movable objects. (The Preschooler made a train car.)
The Art of Speed runs until April, but Playeum will also be conducting other special activities such as art jams (which I’ve been invited to program for), “Tinkering Sundays,” and holiday camps. So, yeah, we’ll be back! This is a really special space, and I wish co-foundered Jennifer Loh and Sumitha Pasupathy much success!
Playeum is a little costly per child ($20.00), but an accompanying adult is FREE. (Additional adults are $10.00.)