Thursday, September 27, 2012

MoMA Field Trip

Today I took some of our Destination Imagination team to MoMA for inspiration.  They are in the process of creating their solution to this year's challenge.  They are undertaking a science challenge where they have to combine their knowledge of how wind works with a kinetic art structure they have to create from scratch.  They have to come up with a story which includes an invisible character.  The invisible character has to be evident in their 8 minute skit and to do that the team must use technical special effects.  The kinetic art has to be activated by wind and kept in motion for 15 seconds.  The team has to also create two special additions to their performance which will be judged by the effort involved, technical design and creativity of the pieces.  It is a fantastic challenge and the team members were soaking up the incredible inspiration on display in the museum.
I love field trips into the city.  The whole way there the children were talking non stop about all the exciting things they are doing.  Tomorrow, the first rehearsal for A Midsummer Night's Dream will commence.  Parts are not out yet and the anticipation of which part everyone will get is major topic of conversation.  I kept bringing the kids back to the task at hand.  What should we focus on at MoMA?

I was at the museum a couple of months ago and this time I was a little more prepared.  I wanted the kids to see the paintings of the great artists first.  The top two floors of MoMA are amazing with Van Goghs, Cezannes, Picassos and all the famous painters in room after room.  The halls also feature sculpture.

There is a WOW factor to seeing several famous paintings by the same artist.  You are surrounded by the painters style and it leaves an impression.  The kids all had their iPods out taking picture after picture.

We saw all kinds of unusual sculpture.  The team was constantly imagining what it could do and it came up with some pretty amazing ideas.  Now to make these ideas materialize will be a challenge but that is what Destination Imagination is about-  materializing a dream that is owned by every team member.  It is a messy collaborative process.  The challenges are complex and involved, daunting at times.  I see much growth in the children occur through their involvement in this program. This year our team wants to do something really special.  They are lifting their game and I am excited for them.

One of our team members is a film buff.  He already produces movies and is in the process of setting up a film festival for children, where children submit their own films.  I wanted him to visit the Quay Brothers exhibit, which is awesome and creepy at the same time and definitely unique.  The Quay Brothers had their own unique style.  What is the style of their DI solution going to be?

Another team member couldn't wait to visit the architecture and design floor.  There were certainly a lot of cool things there, especially this couch made out of plastic components in a structure similar to Theo Jansen's wind driven beach animals. Could we make the parts on a 3D printer?

The children were making a lot of connections. They are going to do their performance a lot differently this year to previous years.  They want to get right out of the box and do something more creative.

One team member wants to try making this tomorrow on the scroll saw.

Or maybe this with light materials that catch the wind?

I wanted to visit the sculpture garden to see these figures!

A coffee wouldn't have gone astray either.  I wanted to find Macchiato for one of the best coffees in NYC but alas, traffic was bad and I had to get the children home on time.  But I drove past it and looked longingly in the window as I waited for the traffic light to change.

I also wanted to drive past this kinetics artist's window on Madison Avenue but this store didn't seem to exist anymore. I saw the Whitney museum though and decided that I want to go there next month.

We all agreed it was a very worthwhile trip and would love to go again and the trip will certainly give the team members a lot of inspiration for tomorrow's meeting.

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