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Arts & Culture

Designers Explore Creativity in Public Art

drivebysh00ter/flickr creative commons

Paris sculptor Tatiana Trouve agreed to do a major public art installation for Central Park, which is opening now and involves miles of colored rope. Now we have a mission for you… design a store for children with objects or a playscape that will entertain kids and adults, and make them all say "Wow!" walking in the door.

It's not an easy assignment to create something that is truly engaging to the public. But for Joanne Newbold of J/Newbold Associates in New York City, creating installations is her own form of imaginative play, a form that makes her highly successful:

  • The 30-foot ferris wheel for Times Square, New York City, Toys 'R' Us
  • Hip candyland for Dylan Lauren
  • The 50-foot animated trojan horse for FAO Schwarz at Ceasar's Palace
  • The 3-ton bronze teddy bear at Boston's Floating Hospital for Children
  • The 100-foot Sea Serpent Playscape at Avenues Mall, Kuwait

All J/Newbold Associates, and that's just for starters. We're wondering if there are trends in public installations for retail. What themes, colors, and graphics appeal to adults and children? And what are design teachers telling graduating students about using art to sell products and concepts? That's why we've asked Steve Heller, our regular contributor, to join Newbold. He's interesting on any subject we toss his way, as readers of his blog The Daily Heller clearly know. (I'm an avid reader.)

Join me as these two design wizards describe how they create, how they become inspired, and how they inspire others.

Join the conversation on Twitter or on Facebook.


  • Harriet Dobin – festival director, Mandell JCC Hartford Jewish Film Festival
  • Steven Heller – author, co-author, and/or editor of over 100 books on design and popular culture
  • Joanne Newbold – founder, J/Newbold Associates


  • “Gne Gne,” Montefiori Cocktail
  • “Mass Urbanization,” Kristian Dunn
  • “Marriage Is the New Going Steady,” Kristian Dunn
  • “Perpetuum Mobile,” Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Lori Mack, Jonathan McNicol, and Marian Roy contributed to this show.

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