The Connective Project is a collaborative public engagement project consisting of 7,000 sculpturally arranged pinwheels, many exhibiting artwork made by the public, onsite and through curated submissions. Commissioned by the Prospect Park Alliance, it was conceived and produced by the experiential marketing agency AREA4 and designed by Architect Suchi Reddy of Reddymade.
Influenced by the vision of the park’s 1867 designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the design aspiration for the project was to create a playful urban retreat that sparks a conversation about the value of public spaces.
Responding to the design of the garden, the concept amplifies the elliptical architectural forms of the defunct pools by expanding their shapes outwards into the garden in undulating layers of scaled and repetitive objects: pinwheels. Calling on childhood memories, pinwheels were chosen to draw a wide range of visitors to the under-utilized area of the park. The object was also selected for its relationship to nature, with its movement that is informed by wind patterns.
Precisely placed with geo-mapping technology, the pinwheels made of weather resistant, printable and biodegradable paper made of stone dust, surround the three concrete basins, turning them into amphitheaters. Art generated by the public and accepted through a curation process designed by the project’s organizers was printed on some of the pinwheels, and others were decorated at on site workshops, all of them displayed at the perimeters of the pools to facilitate gallery style viewing and engagement. Visitors were encouraged to contribute to the installation by folding and drawing their own paper pinwheels made from weather-resistant and compostable stone dust.
Blanketing the field with a sea of color and movement, the installation provides a space for children and adults to engage with the park. Each of the three concrete basins was turned into a seating area with its own characteristics. One featured seating made of discarded logs from the park cut at angles, another featured Adirondack chairs that had been donated to the park, and the third a custom designed bridge that facilitated differently abled visitors to access the interior of the installation.
At the conclusion of the project, the organizers of the event allowed the public to take away the pinwheels, and all of them were taken away into the surrounding boroughs to continue spreading wonder and delight in neighborhoods around the tri-borough area.
Architect, Suchi Reddy, founded Reddymade in 2002 with a human-centric approach to design—one that assesses the economic, social, environmental and cultural impacts of her work on both people and the planet. She brings over a decade of experience in large-scale cultural, educational, healthcare, retail, commercial, and residential projects to her award-winning practice based in New York City, and expanding to Los Angeles.
Specializing in diversity, Reddymade’s projects include public installations, exhibit design, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, large-scale commercial projects and residential projects that include houses, micro-apartments, and prefab architecture.
“Form follows feeling” is the guiding principle of the practice. Reddy’s strong belief is that the quality of the space evokes emotion and that good design, calibrated carefully to the human, influences well-being, creativity, and productivity.