The Art Project - Memphis
Accessible neighborhood art freeplay venue
Overton Square / Memphis, Tennessee
The Art Project is an art freeplay studio. Art freeplay cultivates self-direction in all age groups, and provides a unique opportunity for cross-cultural interaction.
The Art Project Initiative was inspired by the owners’ desire to have a place for children to engage in the most freeform art play possible, but also to have a system for digitizing the work, as well as a measures for managing the art mess and providing supervised and structured art exploration activities.
Situated in a strip mall conversion, the Art Project seeks to re-introduce cultural activity into its retail setting, elevating open space to public plaza. The facade works to frame the theater of activities on the interior and performances of art-play spill out onto the hardscape between retailers.
By combining children’s space with adult social space, parents don’t feel the pressure to separate from their children in order to maintain and develop adult social bonds. Parents can meet friends and work in the space while still remaining engaged in their child’s development.
The ‘Scribble-Space’ is the art-making theater at the heart of the studio that allows the child to immerse themselves in the free-play experience without sensing that they are overly supervised.
This shared periphery between the cafe/bar and art theater allows the parent-child relationship to remain intact, and opens up the opportunity to engage in the child’s imagination as inspiration strikes, leaving open the potential for co-creating opportunities between the parent and child.
The ‘Scribble-Space’ was inspired by the desire to have a place for children ages 1-10 to engage in the most freeform art play possible while providing supervised and structured art exploration activities, all while managing the art supplies and inherent mess.
The Art Project – Memphis
Interior Architecture / Memphis, Tennessee
AS / IS
Colin Billings, Dominique Price
Anna V. Blair and Katherine V. Riederer
Office AS / IS Team
Angus Blair, Katie Logan, Maeliosa Barstow, Cooper McKenna