Our programs during COVID-19

Since 2006, Street Lab has created programs for public space that bring New Yorkers together. For the moment, our work on the street is on hold. Behind the scenes, we’re working on new ways to help New York’s public spaces bounce back safely. Here’s what we’ll bring to the street soon:

Pop-up Seating Gardens

We’re redesigning our pop-up installations from the ground up, starting with a safe place to sit. Colorful, appropriately-distanced benches in geometric patterns will make it easier for New Yorkers to be together in public, safely. Experienced staff will oversee all, including new cleaning protocols. As health guidelines evolve, we’ll carefully add small-scale performances and activities adapted from our READ, DRAW, and WRITE programs. Our design partner is Design Across Scales Lab led by Prof. J. Meejin Yoon at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Custom-designed, road-tested benches are easy to deploy and clean.

Patterns make it easy and beautiful to stay apart.

We’re launching a new program PLAY NYC that will support safe, hands-free play for children on closed-off streets in high-need neighborhoods. The set-up will include an obstacle course, exercise activities, smd learning experiences. We’re determined to make a safe place for learning and play, so kids in these neighborhoods don’t fall behind. Thanks to SPIN for early support. We’re fabricating now, learn more and get involved here.

Industrial designer Hannah Berkin-Harper is helping us make play “touch free.”

Builds on our Uni Project at NYC play streets since 2013.

Inside Out NYC

We’re expanding our partnerships with NYC cultural and educational institutions to bring programming out from behind the walls and onto the street. We have equipment and resources to help institutions share free performances, classes, and readings in an open-air setting. Thanks to the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund at the New York Community Trust for supporting this vision.

Small-scale, open-air cultural and educational activities can expand how we use our streets.

Street Lab has partnered on the street with The Drawing Center and all three public libraries.

Get involved

Artists, educators, designers, and fabricators can play a role in re-opening NYC public space. Offer your expertise to our effort.


Sponsor our work on the streets of NYC, and learn about opportunities for employee engagement and more.

Host us

We work in prominent public spaces and neighborhoods alike. Grants can often help cover our programming costs. Reach out!

Adapting our longstanding programs

Over the years, we’ve deployed the programs shown below more than 750 times in 218 locations across NYC. We’re hard at work re-imagining how these programs can return to the street, safely. Stay tuned.