Quarterly email sent! Catch up on our work, fall 2020.

Sep 27, 2020

We just clicked send on our quarterly email update, and you can read a copy below. If hearing from us four times a year by email sounds good to you, then sign up anytime! We also share more frequent updates on social media:

 Dear friends and followers,

We hope you are healthy, safe, and finding your way forward as we head into fall. We’re pleased to report that Street Lab is back on the street—here’s what we’re doing to bring New Yorkers together, safely.

As you know, we shut down public programs in March to help stop COVID-19, and we immediately began an overhaul in order to be ready to re-activate public space when the time came. We did not offer our programs online and instead stayed focused on what was around the bend, such that, on the day restrictions were lifted in July, we were back on the street with new offerings, designed and built from the ground up. Below are photos, including a no-touch obstacle course that converts streets for play, and a mark-making kit that lets New Yorkers create collaborative drawings on the street while remaining six feet apart. And we’re not done yet—we’ve just extended our schedule deep into the fall, adding outdoor homework hubs to the mix, and bringing cultural institutions like the Queens Museum and The Drawing Center to public spaces in the hardest hit areas of the city.

Work hard, move fast, and bring new ideas to life on the street—thank you to our staff, volunteers, and partners for helping us forge ahead during a challenging year.

See you on the street, and keep believing in your city,

Leslie and Sam
Co-founders, Street Lab

Fabrication during lockdown, preparing for the city to re-open.

No-touch obstacle course designed for Street Lab by Hannah Berkin-Harper launched in Brooklyn in July.f

New program PLAY NYC brings safe opportunities for play to closed-off streets in high-need areas, including NYCHA housing.

Street Lab partnered with Mayor’s Office for Criminal Justice, NYC DOT, SPIN, and the Fresh Air Fund to expand play streets across the city.

We also deployed in support of newly created Open Streets and also restaurant streets.

Revitalizing play streets is about more than just play—it’s about building community and sharing resources, like masks.
Every one of our installations provides free masks, hand washing stations, and guidance for keeping each other safe.
During lockdown, we teamed up with Design Across Scales Lab at Cornell AAP to design a new take on marking streets for social distancing.
Our partners at Cornell 3D-printed custom tools to help us bring these ideas to life.
The kit lets New Yorkers draw together safely, making a point about our interdependence.
Our reading rooms are also back, shown here in Red Hook in partnership with a local school. Outdoor learning, all in.

We make our custom gear for others, but this was a record: in three weeks we built and delivered 160 benches to support the Fresh Air Fund. Thanks partner Jaywalk Studio.

Shipping out next week: a new pop-up reading room for the city of Newcastle, Australia.

Attorneys at Morrison & Foerster helped make our new street table patent pending. Designed for Street Lab by Hannah Berkin-Harper with Open Architecture Collaborative NY.

This fall, watch for new partnerships, the return of our open air drawing studios, and new homework hubs for students. Your support makes this possible—thank you!

We could not have done this work in 2020 without emergency funding from the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund at The New York Community Trust; Blackstone; Shippy Foundation; NYC Green Relief Recovery Fund at the City Parks Foundation; Clif Family Foundation; Lisa Brown and Daniel Handler; and NYC Small Business Services. Thank you!