Community & Friends

See the children’s museum from a bug’s perspective

Posted on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 by CommunityEngagement.

reposted from the Greensboro News & Record

As a UNCG graduate student and intern with the Culture of Color program at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, I have come to understand that the museum is an integral part of the Greensboro community for children, parents and teachers alike.

The museum plays an important role in informal early childhood education, providing visitors with inspiring experiences and lasting memories.

Though the transportation exhibit may not have inspired me to become a conductor, my internship has been inspiring, giving way to a lasting collaboration between UNCG and the museum.

I saw the opportunity for Interior Architecture students to put our skills into practice, while learning to design for challenging new clients — children in pre-K and elementary school.

Led by assistant professor Jonathon Anderson, students in my graduate and undergraduate Interior Architecture studio planned, proposed, designed and built a new exhibit for the Greensboro Children’s Museum.

In three months, we fabricated a new permanent exhibit. Using digital technology, such as computer modeling, a laser cutter and a computer-numerical-controlled router, we produced an exhibit that will expose the museum’s young visitors to the power of digital fabrication.

The new exhibit, “Larger Than Life,” playfully redefines the prototypical park giving way to an interactive landscape for imagination from a bug’s perspective.

In keeping with the museum’s mission to provide fun, interactive and educational experiences, this engages children, allowing them to draw connections with the museum’s Edible School Yard. Children can follow their natural sense of curiosity as they venture through high blades of musical grass, scale mounds of stepped terrain and slide through an exaggerated exhibition of our natural world.

This exhibit, made possible by the support of UNCG’s Advancement of Teaching and Learning Grant and Unifi Manufacturing, is the first installation resulting from the new, ongoing partnership between UNCG and the museum.

“We are delighted to be the benefactor of this amazing collaboration between the university, a local manufacturer and our nonprofit” said Marian King, CEO of the Greensboro Children’s Museum. “We are grateful to both UNCG and Unifi Manufacturing for making it possible. This is a wonderful example of members of the community pooling their resources and talents to benefit the community as a whole.”

She praised the students’ talent, enthusiasm and ability to incorporate the mission and values of the Children’s Museum into the design.

Anderson, the professor, called the exhibit “a prime example of how UNCG’s Interior Architecture program is committed to design/build community-engaged projects. It has been a wonderful collaboration with the Greensboro Children’s Museum and the start of a venture that seeks to design/build several more projects together.”

Written by Anna Will, a UNCG student and Greensboro Children’s Museum Culture of Color intern.