As you may know we've been working on a project with local non-profit Story Planet, designing and building the unconventional interior of their new writing-centre in Bloordale. The space gives kids and youth the opportunity to hang out and learn from some of Canada’s finest writers, artists and digital storymakers and is inspired by Dave Eggers' 826 National program. The front terminal houses the Black Hole Coffee bar offering travellers high octane fuel. There is also a gift and book store to make sure you have everything for your journey including planetary samples. The design of the Intergalactic Travel Authority was conceived as a transportation hub for a misplaced martian, 1165 who landed on earth accidentally on his way to Mars in 2000 and has been trying to get home ever since, in the meantime he's had to make do with materials at his disposal and has managed to assemble a pretty interstellar space in which to get to know his earthling friends. (The decor was where we came in.)
Housed in our neighbourhood at 1165 Bloor Street West the space is defined by the large white arches which flank the sides of the terminal. The space is a work in progress and includes the coffee bar, book and gift store along with airport style seating down the middle and an interstellar portal at the back leading to Story Planet. All of the interior was made out of reclaimed materials including elements taken out of the credit union that formerly occupied the space.
Story Planet "offers free workshops to support children and youth (ages 6-18) in becoming creative and effective communicators. By combining creative writing projects with art, we approach writing and reading with excitement. For many kids who struggle with writing, having a visually creative side to the work enables them to launch their imaginations and get their words flowing. Once writing is fun, it is far less daunting. Often a few small successes are all a child needs to boost their confidence and understand the importance of strong communication skills. From there, the future looks brighter." Inspiring isn't it?
They're currently raising funds to offer free after-school writing support to kids living in the Bloordale neighbourhood, lend your support here.
More photos and information about the individual pieces we produced for the ITA will be coming soon, in the meantime stop by 1165 Bloor Street West, have an out-of-this-world coffee, check out their wares and chat with some wonderful people making dreams come true.