Last April, I posted a story about The Uni, a portable reading room for New York City. Please see a message below from Leslie Davol, co-founder of The Uni, with the latest news about this amazing project to help people who are trying to reclaim public space and improve their neighborhood. And please visit them this coming weekend in Brooklyn and Queens, or in Almaty, Kazakhstan if you happen to be passing that way!
Dear Friends of the Uni,
Find the Uni in Brooklyn and Queens!
Next weekend (Jul 21 and 22) we’ll transform two busy New York locations into open-air reading rooms. Saturday, we’ll be at a Brooklyn farmers’ market, working with East New York Farms! as they bring fresh produce and community-oriented events to a closed-off street. Sunday, we’ll be at Corona Plaza in Queens, where people are working to pedestrianize the plaza and close it to traffic. In both places, our approach is the same: we’ll use the Uni to support people who are trying to reclaim public space and improve their neighborhood. Details and other deployments here
A second Uni, half-way around the world.
Over the winter we didn’t hibernate—we built another Uni. It has just been shipped abroad to create a roving reading room in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Almaty project involves a collaboration between the US Embassy and a local children’s library. It is now on the streets of Almaty, with books in Russian and English, staffed by young students. See photos of the Uni in Almaty here
Our collection is growing, more cubes on the way.
We’re steadily adding books to our collection, thanks to wonderful donations from many of you. Sam also travelled a bit
and was able to purchase some special books that may intrigue New Yorkers. Also, as part of our upcoming deployment in Corona, Queens, we’ve embarked on a collaboration with The Louis Armstrong House Museum (around the corner from our Uni location) to create a cube that will include audio. Check out some of our cubes here
How you can help the Uni:
- Donate! Support our Summer 2012 deployments in New York City, and help us offer the Uni to community groups at no cost to them. Donate here.
- Give Books! We’re especially interested in spanish-language and bilingual books. Donate here.
- Volunteer! Help with load-in, load-out, story time, and other tasks. Join the team here.
More Uni notes:
- The Uni will be in the exhibition, Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good, the official U.S. presentation at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale in Fall 2012. More info here.
- The Uni was featured in an article by Shannon Mattern in Places journal. We think she nailed her description of how and why we do the Uni.
That’s all for now. Please drop us a line anytime.
The Uni Project
Delicious: what we’re reading