Sky Villages for SPARK Brooklyn Children’s Museum


by Vannessa Louis, Nonagon Style , 15 Feb 2017

Artist website:

Sky Villages is an interactive installation by James Paulius at SPARK Brooklyn Children’s Museum that invites children to build clusters of airborne villages on the wall. The villages are made of tessellating units that interlock in countless ways to create various structures. By engaging the child’s imagination, this installation reinforces the application of creativity, problem solving, and three-dimensional thinking.

As Earth’s population increases, we may look to the atmosphere for inhabitable space. Sky Villages presents the possibility to dwell in the sky in modular architecture that can be added or removed as populations increase or decrease. Dwelling units are prefabricated with the intent of reuse rather than discardment. When a unit no longer fits the particular needs of its location, it can be moved elsewhere for a new family to reside in. Constantly evolving, these structures accommodate the ever-changing tendencies of humanity and nature.

“Both kids and adults seem to like it. Especially designers and engineers who enjoyed playing with building blocks when they were younger.”

Sky Villages provides kids of all ages with an imaginative way to learn. It works well as educational wall decor, especially for those with small spaces. The toy blocks in this installation are fabricated from Douglas-fir wood reclaimed from water towers in Manhattan, NY provided by Tri-Lox.

This art installation is valuable to my research because I am dealing with similar constraints that the artist dealt with. I am working with small spaces to provide interventions that encourage intergenerational interaction. Blocks are a universally understood product. The whimsical, yet refined, form of the block houses can appeal to all generations, however, they don’t provide a much of an educational component.