The Uni in East New York, Brooklyn, Jul 28, 2012. Photo: Sam Davol, The Uni Project
Come explore the offerings of the Uni, a portable education environment for urban youth made of lightweight cubes, benches, and multilingual books and activities developed by nonprofit Uni Project (theuniproject.org). Uni Project is dedicated to expanding a culture of learning beyond the walls of schools, museums, and libraries. The organization has developed a new, lightweight tool with which to perform this work in the form of a portable educational environment ready to be deployed to almost any available location, including plazas, markets, parks, sidewalks, and spare lots.
The Uni relies on an architect-designed system of cubes for shelving, benches for seating, and an outstanding collection of multilingual books and activities. It is staffed by volunteer librarians and educators who relish the opportunity to adapt their craft to public spaces.
Urban problems call for solutions that are lighter-weight, more flexible, less expensive, and better integrated into our patterns of daily life. The Uni anticipates a future in which cities become still more dense, space even more expensive, and education increasingly important to the health of our communities. The Uni gives urban citizens a new place in which to do what we have repeatedly done throughout history—gather together and be better for it.