Photo courtesy of DUMBO BID

Sprint, Burn, Serve, Run, Jump… Fitness Loop is up and running!

It took a year, and many back and forth conversations between DUMBO Improvement District, HUSH, the Dumbo-based design agency, and Parks Department, DOT, and other sidewalk-owning agencies to get this project off the ground. But the power of graphic design is now visible even from a bird eye’s view. Time for jungle gym.

The DUMBO Fitness Loop beautifies and activates the neighborhood’s underutilized parks and public spaces below and around the BQE. With a series of fitness-themed, eye-popping, super graphic interventions “they have given new life to dingy park spaces,” as DUMBO BID director Alexandria Sica said, and turned concrete parks into free, fun outdoor gym. AIGA/NY’s role was to advise DUMBO BID on the selection of designers through a competitive process and guided the overall art direction of the project. The project aims to promote local public health, inspire long-term investment in these parks, and raise the visibility of DUMBO as a critical juncture of the Tech Triangle and downtown Brooklyn.

“It’s not often that we’re able to leave behind commercial work, but when we do it’s special. We were excited to promote health, we were excited to produce work that’s fun and helps brighten up a somewhat grungy area. We loved that we were given the ability to do huge-scale typography in a public setting, and we were thrilled to be in the proximity of Sagmeister & Walsh and Shepard Fairey. They’re among the best in the world and it’s awesome to have our work on display with theirs.” Jodi Terwilliger, HUSH, Creative Director.

The DUMBO Fitness Loop was supported by a Neighborhood Challenge grant from NYC SBS, just like our Identity Design Action project was this year. The project is also featured on the newly launched Neighborhood Challenge website.

Special thanks to our AIGA/NY advisory board members, which included Glen Cummings, Manuel Miranda, Agnieszka Gasparska, Josh Smith and Steff Geissbuhler, who offered their expertise to facilitate the project’s creative process. Laetitia Wolff acted as program director; she will be moderating a panel during NYCxDESIGN 2016 about the challenges of making community-centered and creative placemaking project happen in the city, taking DUMBO Fitness Loop and other AIGA/NY Civic Initiatives as examples. Stay tuned for more info.

Press coverage:
DUMBO Park Gets a New Life | Brownstoner

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