In the summer of 2008 the Design Trust asked CUP to create educational programming about Grand Army Plaza. CUP worked with high school students from Brooklyn College’s College Now program to investigate how a redesign of Grand Army Plaza might actually get implemented.
To find out how decisions get made, the crew interviewed folks from the city’s Department of Design and Construction, the Prospect Park Alliance, and the Department of Transportation; they took photographs, traced maps, pulled quotes, and punched keys to create a large-format poster that looks at how big ideas get built.
The poster was featured in an a free, outdoor, public exhibition in the center of the Plaza that was seen by over 100,000 people. In addition to the poster students made a zine called How to Build Something/Not Build Something that explores the logistics of reshaping public space in New York City.
In the Spring of 2012 the poster was reprinted for the exhibition Brooklyn Utopias at the Old Stone House. CUP’s Valeria Mogilevich and Urban Investigation participant Daniel Linton joined representatives from The Trust for Public Land and Groundswell in a public conversation that looked at the role of community in re-shaping parks and other public spaces.