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Building Brainstorm - Exciting New Design Exhibition - Debuts at Boston Children’s Museum

September 20, 2011

(BOSTON, MA) September 20, 2011, Opening Saturday, September 24, 2011 at Boston Children’s Museum, kids will be able to visit the new Building Brainstorm exhibition - a design studio where you can explore what it’s like to be an architect, designer, and engineer.

Plan a dream home or a dog house, build a skyscraper model, find the best arrangement of an apartment model’s rooms and furniture, construct a structure you can crawl through, and much more in the bilingual (English and Spanish) show. The exhibit introduces children to the design process, including collaborative problem-solving, planning, revisions, and execution.

Step inside Building Brainstorm and you’ll find a kid-friendly studio environment inspired by the philosophy and aesthetic of mid-century designers Charles and Ray Eames. Filled with architectural plans, photographs, models, and authentic building elements, the show features interactive workbenches and job sites that equip diminutive designers to brainstorm creative solutions for architectural and engineering challenges. Kids will discover the basics of buildings while exploring the process of creating structures that match the needs of the people inside them.

The exhibition was created by Brooklyn Children’s Museum in association with The Center for Architecture Foundation and is sponsored by Skanska, one of the world’s leading construction companies, with promotional sponsorship from IKEA Brooklyn.

Building Brainstorm features several “design challenges,” where you experiment with building materials, engineering concepts, and design decisions in an exciting and educational environment. In the “Shape Search Challenge,” find basic geometric shapes in complex buildings. Try to replicate unusually shaped structures with wood blocks in the “Shapes in Buildings Challenge.” To experience curved, angled, and square building shapes from a different perspective, make your own crawl-through structures at the “Inside Shapes Challenge.”

Lighting considerations in building design become clear at the “Window House Challenge,” when you experiment with changeable clear, translucent, and opaque panels in a house made of windows. The “Floor Plan Challenge” opens up the world of spatial organization and how people use rooms. Create the ideal floor plan for a model home by arranging the rooms and miniature furniture in just the right way for your needs. In the “Room Design Challenge,” create an inspiration board for different types of rooms, using real material samples.

In the “Brainstorm Challenge” area, kids can work together and generate creative designs for the needs of imaginary clients-it might be to design a house for a family pet or a school for skateboarders—and then make sketches or build models of the best parts of their “building brainstorm” collaborative design process.

Throughout the exhibition, graphic panels provide information about environmentally friendly building and construction practices, and invites visitors to think about ways they can make their designs more “green.”

Like the Museum building, exhibits, and programs, Building Brainstorm inspires children and their grown-ups to explore the world around them, try their hand at something new, and discover ways that they can judiciously use resources and have minimal impact on the environment.

The exhibition was created as part of the Youth Museum Exhibit Collaborative (YMEC), a consortium of nine leading North American youth museums. Following its debut at Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the show is touring other YMEC museums in Boston, MA; Fort Worth, TX; Houston, TX; Hull, Quebec, Canada; Memphis, TN; St. Paul, MN; San Jose, CA; and Sausalito, CA before returning to New York City, where it will conclude its tour at The Center for Architecture Foundation in Manhattan.

The exhibition components and related educational programs support U.S. elementary curriculum standards in mathematics, visual arts, technology, and science through hands-on activities that encourage inquiry-based exploration.

The Building Brainstorm Exhibit will be hosted by Boston Children’s Museum September 24, 2011 - January 12, 2012.

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About Boston Children’s Museum
Boston Children’s Museum exists to help children understand and enjoy the world in which they live. It is a private, non-profit, educational institution that is recognized internationally as a research and development center and pacesetter for children's exhibitions, educational programs and curriculum. Boston Children’s Museum incorporates two strategies - engaging families and building communities - to impact five outcome areas for children: Creative Kids, Curious Kids, Global Kids, Green Kids and Healthy Kids. More information about Boston Children’s Museum can be found at www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org.

Hours and Admission
The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. and Fridays until 9:00 p.m. Adults, $12; children (1-15) and senior citizens, $9; children under one and Museum members are always free. Fridays 5:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m., all visitors $1.