Lawn came to life thanks to Lab at Rockwell Group, the New York firm’s design and innovation studio. Part of the Washington National Building Museum’s series of Summer Block Party installations, Lawn aimed at celebration and exploration of the public and private perceptions of a lawn as a space for interaction. A sneak-peek of an “iconic symbol of American summer.”
The installation took the first two bays of the enormous Museum’s Great Hall and filled it with a vast, sloping green space set on an incline with clusters of communal lounging areas. Whilst the hammocks, suspended from the ceiling, were equipped with speakers, allowing the visitors to relax and listen to summer stories by people “who you might not expect at your backyard barbecue,” meaning Venus Williams or Whoopi Goldberg. There were also “sounds of summer” such as birds chirping, lawnmowers whirring, children playing, bees buzzing and, of course, ice cream truck jingle. There was even an app enabling the guests to catch fireflies, as well as events including movie nights and yoga classes.
By transforming the over 3,000-square-foot Great Hall of the Renaissance Revival building into a gently pitched green hill with a soft turf, the curators aimed at creating a space open for the community and to inspire its visitors to share stories, daydream or simply roll down the hill.