Washington, DC, SE

Temporary Installation 2018

320 sf

East City Bookshop
Southeast Neighborhood Library

LAB’s 2018 Park(ing) Day installation focused on our shared love of books and desire to publicly champion literacy in our local community. The LAB office, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, is near to numerous little libraries, a DC public library, and down the street from the Library of Congress. Our team highlighted these different ‘scales of literacy’ by creating an outdoor living room right in front of local bookstore, East City Bookshop. The installation was a place for the community to gather, read, and share books - take-a-book, leave-a-book style. The park’s design contains outdoor versions of the elements commonly found in a living room: bookshelves are created from repurposed milk crates, colorful rockers mimic living room recliners, artificial turf squares are fashioned to create a rug. Vertical elements - colorfully-painted faux lamps and a way-finding sign pointing to nearby institutions of literacy - created visual interest from down the sidewalk and across Pennsylvania Ave. LABites donated books to fill the shelves, many of which were eagerly read and taken home by park visitors. East City Bookshop and Southeast Neighborhood Library helped to activate the space with scheduled readings for children, book give-aways, and library membership sign-up; producing one of LAB’s most vibrant Park(ing) Days to-date!

Material Donations - Outdoor furniture from LOLL, Sedum mat from Sempergreen, Artificial turf from ForeverLawn, Children’s books from DCPL

PARK[ING] DAY - Since 2005, designers and like-minded urbanists have used Park(ing) Day, a worldwide phenomenon, to highlight the untapped value of public space. LAB has been participating since 2016. Each year’s project becomes an opportunity to explore new approaches to designing public space while partnering with local organizations and engaging with the local community.

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Photographs & Drawings: LAB