At the Arizona Science Center, kids are now able to climb and play on things that can be found in dad’s garage.
A combination of hardware store and toy store, the new cosmic playground is somewhat of an engineering feat. It is an entire exhibit constructed out of regular packing tape.
Every painstaking pull and stretch made for meticulous work as each piece of tape is responsible for holding up the entire galaxy.
“I can jump up and down, and it’s super strong,” artist Eric Lennartson demonstrates. “The most fun thing about it is, no one expects that you should be able to walk and play on packing tape. It’s really a crazy extraordinary thing out of ordinary material.”
Lennartson is the man behind the design and idea for the project that led to an indoor playground for kids who love science and space.
Eric’s impressive imagination has led to the creation of landscapes of tape and a rather impressive reputation.
“We had seen these tape-scapes at other science centers and saw this really unique experience that was happening in other places,” explained Sari Custer of the Arizona Science Center. “So, it became a must-have, set to open through January. This was just a whole new way to do space science.”
At the intersection of technical and artistic, tape-scapes are formed by Lennartson as concept, theme and layouts are planned out.
“It’s a slippery, slidy, curvey surface, so different from an ordinary built world where everything is so straight, angled, squared off,” says Lennartson. But, his first order of business was contacting 3M for hundreds of rolls of tape. “I just sent a message to someone that said, ‘Hey, how do I get a palette load of tape,’ and they said, ‘What are you doing Eric.'”
It will take 500 rolls of tape to bring this galactic playground to life, making a dream into a reality.
“Lots of tape, scissors on hand and just get out of the way,” says APS volunteer Maria Riggio. And, hundreds of volunteers who were ripping, building and constructing six hours each day for weeks on end. “I’m building someone’s universal spider web,” Riggio laughs.
When the playground is completed, visitors can travel through a lit up black-hole or slide through a wormhole in a in an out of this world space.
The one-of-a-kind space opens Saturday, Oct. 6, and runs through Jan. 13.
Cosmic Playground is a shoe-free environment. Guests must wear clean socks or purchase a pair at the Center for $1 (while supplies last). The experience is also ADA accessible.
Members can purchase tickets beginning September 7, 2018. Ticket sales open to the public on September 13, 2018.
Guests can purchase tickets online at www.azscience.org or in person at Arizona Science Center.
Cosmic Playground tickets are $4.95 for non-members (adults and children) and $3.95 for members (adults and children) and groups of 15 or more.
General Admission is required and is free for members, $18 for adults, and $13 for children (3-17).