Showing posts with label san jose museums. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose museums. Show all posts

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Spend $125 at San Jose Downtown Businesses and get a $25 gift card

In the spirit of supporting local San Jose businesses, the San Jose Downtown Association is offering a special promotion this holiday season. If you spend $125 at Downtown San Jose businesses between Nov. 24 and Dec 24th, they will send you a $25 gift card.

Downtown San Jose in this case is defined as the Business Improvement District. Just provide the receipt(s) from any retail store, restaurant, cafe, museum, theatre, or entertainment venue located within the highlighted area in the map below and claim you gift card over here.

There are some exclusions such as touring shows, Sharks tickets, parking, and stays at hotels. 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Día de los Muertos at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

Día de los Muertos honors the lives of departed ancestors and loved ones. The Children's Discovery Museum is throwing a special event on October 28th for visitors to learn more about Día de los Muertos. Attendees will also be able to make sand paintings with stencils, build cardboard skulls, and watch a parade with massive skeleton puppets led by Teatro Familia Aztlán.

Visitors can also write down the names of loved ones who have passed and bring personal mementos to share on a community altar. The event takes place between 9:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm on Saturday, October 28th.

Source: The Merc

Monday, April 13, 2020

San Jose needs to rethink tourism strategy

Let's be honest: if someone flies into the Bay Area from out of the country for leisure purposes, they're probably not dying to check out San Jose. They're much more likely to spend their time in San Francisco, or maybe spend the weekend up in Napa. Next stop is probably LA. Each of these areas has a little different to offer, but one thing they all share is that there is an established history that tourists find fascinating. San Jose, on the other hand, makes most of its tourism money from hosting large-scale events, not organic local attractions.

San Jose has a fair amount of history, but very little tourist attention. In fact, I'd wager that the average San Jose doesn't even find local history interesting. They're probably familiar with the Winchester Mystery House, and some may even mention the tower on Mt. Umunhum. Would they take a visiting friend to either of these places? They'd probably take the friend to SF.

Meanwhile, organizations like PAC*SJ have fought to preserve potential historical landmarks around the city. Why aren't we seeing any changes to how these buildings fit into people's mindshare, local or otherwise? I think it's because it's the wrong approach, at least in isolation.

Preservation alone will not promote city history. People need a story

If you've heard locals complain about how boring San Jose is, or how there's a lack of culture, chances are they're referring to a way of life and customs. The same locals would look at some of the historical buildings around St. James Park, for example, and their opinion would remain unchanged. That's because the existence of the landmark can only go so far; there needs to be stories that function as a vehicle into people's minds and hearts before there is any semblance of meaning. 

This is why, although I strongly value history myself (and it's one of my most fulfilling parts of international travel), I find the city's general approach a bit lacking. I'm not specifically calling out any department at the city, just the holistic approach I observe as a local. There are plenty old buildings around, but unless there is meaning behind them, I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that they need to be preserved in place. 

History Park - untapped potential

One thing the city has done right is move historical buildings into History Park. These buildings form a small town within the park, and at first sight is fairly interesting to look at. There's a trolley that runs through it, which is pretty cool.

History Park At Kelley Park (Peter Bennett)
The problem is that most folks only visit the park when there's another event hosted there--food festivals, conventions, and galleries. There is very little standalone appeal, but it looks like it's basically San Jose Disneyland. I think this park needs to be leveraged as the the place to go to experience history in the south bay. Every school should be organizing field trips here, if not already. It should be a good way to spend a day with the family. 

Replica light tower at History Park (
Here are some ideas:
  • Don't keep the park free. Charge an entrance fee if that's what it'll take to fund a better experience.
  • Group buildings either by neighborhood or by era, complete with roads and lamp posts to match. This makes the town feel more cohesive rather than a random assortment of buildings.
  • Each interior is treated as a stationary gallery, complete with historical furnishing (for viewing purposes only). This is already happening to an extent, but I think you need a tour to experience them. I might be wrong.
  • There should be some permanent references to historically significant moments related to San Jose. For example, there should at least be mention of Tommie Smith and John Carlos' Olympic moment.
  • Ideally, some national brands and franchises that started locally could lend a hand. I'd love to see how Chuck E Cheeses started, or what inspired Eggo waffles.
  • There should be a major festival every year on April 08 (4.08) complete with performances near the electric tower.
I'd actually prefer to leave Silicon Valley history out of History Park, since that story is still evolving and may be a better fit elsewhere. That's a post for another time.

Iconic neon business signs: better together

I love neon signs. When done right, they are so easily recognizable from a distance. They add color to our streets. Over time, they creation an emotional connection with locals who see the businesses (or at least the designs) as a part of daily life. Unfortunately we're past the glory days of neon signs, but San Jose has a cluster of these from past decades. A lot of the time, the business no longer exists. Nonetheless, there needs to be some purpose designed for these signs after they are properly restored.

San Jose's iconic Dancing Pig sign restored to neon glory
Dancing Pig sign (Mercury News)

In one example, the community pitched in to save and restore the Dancing Pig sign on Montgomery Street. It was a celebratory moment when the campaign succeeded, but what happens next? What's the purpose of preserving the sign in-place if the business no longer exists, and the entire surrounding area is prime for redevelopment? One approach is to use it as a way to protest redevelopment. A much better approach, in my opinion, is to use the sign to bring joy to many more people via a new city-maintained public gallery of neon signs.

Similar to how History Park has accumulated historical buildings, I think there's an opportunity to create a memorable visual experience if San Jose can bring signs like the Dancing Pig, Western Appliance, Orchard Supply Hardware, into a central location where can all be maintained and enjoyed together. Locals can visit the signs to reminisce or for a recognizable local photo opportunity. Tourists can get a glimpse at what downtown/midtown used to feel like. 

Where might we put these? 
  • Again, History Park is a candidate as a go-to spot for revisiting the past of our city. 
  • Another option is to use them to bring character and design to a public gathering space, such as a vibrant alleyway or a plaza. 
  • Even an existing popular destination like the San Pedro Square garage could use them to boost the existent history elements of the venue. In fact the block still has a few active neon signs, so it might be a perfect it.
  • The signs can be distributed to give blander sections of downtown a bit more personality. For example, each downtown parking garage can be adorned with one of the signs. Imagine parking in the "Dancing Pigs parking garage" instead of the 3rd St. parking garage".
  • An upcoming development can incorporate the signs in their ceiling, similar to how The Pierce adopted the Voxel Cloud.

Create new local tourism destinations for the modern age

History is not the only way to attract local and broader tourism. There's a lot that San Jose can do in order to create new destinations. That's not exactly a revolutionary idea, so let's start with what I think is working.

What's working


Over the last five years or so, the city has really stepped up to encourage public facing art. Participation in Pow Wow has added a lot of color throughout the city. Meanwhile, collaborations with local art collectives such as Local Color has turned some downtown eyesores into sources of joy and inspiration. From experience I see plenty of locals lauding the increase in local murals, so this is a great, relatively recent movement that has shown great success.

Guest urban installations

Two very prominent projects made their way to downtown San Jose in the past few years, and they both demonstrated how hungry local crowds were for unifying projects that enhanced place making efforts.

2016 8-4 Musical Swings Opening-4-low-res.jpg
The Swings in San Jose (

The first example is from 2016. The Swings was an interactive art piece by a Canadian art studio that consisted of swings that were each assigned an instrument. As people swung, their swings' "instruments" played, creating a full musical experience as more folks joined in. The gallery was so popular that the month-long installation ended up being extended. Locals also observed that it turned Plaza de Cesar Chavez into a truly family-oriented space. Every kid wanted to be a part of it, and parents could enjoy the results of the piece as their kids played.

Sonic Runway Unveiling Draws Big Crowds to San Jose City Hall ...
Sonic Runway in front of City Hall (San Jose Inside)

Another popular art piece was brought over from Burning Man - the Sonic Runway. The project consisted of a tunnel built out of LED rings that created different patterns depending on the music fed into it. It was a major hit, as folks from all ages, backgrounds, music preferences all came out to experience it. A few events were coordinated adjacent to it, temporarily turning City Hall into the best gathering spot over the span of a couple of months.

Even better, it enabled the community to create their own artwork. One that pops in mind is the corgi photo that reappears now and then on Reddit and Twitter. That's the kind of inspiration that the city needs to focus on, as that's what turns something from just artwork in itself into a phenomenon that locals can feel like they own, even if the project was imported. 

Can you imagine if the project was created locally and it inspired locals? That's how you create the culture that folks so desperately yearn.

What we need

Social media friendly museums

This part is going to be more controversial. I am a fan of our existing downtown museums, from the San Jose Museum of Art to the Tech Museum (which will hopefully be expanded in the near future). We also have a list of local art galleries that provide great experiences, especially during arts-focused events such as South First Fridays. We don't need to change these at all; they tend to be though provoking, quality experiences.

What I'm referring to specifically is the type of museum that can double as a casual date or family outing. Places like Color Factory or Happy Place are not cheap, but they are tightly controlled environments that provide a very obvious escape from the "real world". Most would take this to mean a photo opportunity for Instagram, but it's also something that anyone can really go and enjoy if they need a change in scenery.

Misty bubbles gallery (New Spring)

Today, anyone looking for this category of casual entertainment would need to go to San Francisco, which is another example of leaked local tourism. It's not exactly the city's decision to open these locations, but it should take a hard look at why San Jose is not considered a desirable landing spot for them. 

An iconic San Jose public art piece

This one is sort of in progress, as Urban Confluence has launched an international design competition for a landmark to be located on Arena Green. Since we have nothing material to go on, however, it's important to consider what we'd like to see.

Iconic public art work does not necessarily need to fulfill a specific purpose. In this case, the uniqueness in itself is supposed to be the story. In other words, even with minimal context, it should still be something that folks can appreciate. 
  • Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) in Chicago: result of a design competition
  • Urban Light in Los Angeles: started as a personal project, eventually purchased by Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Charging Bull in New York: Another personal artwork that ended up becoming a symbol of Wall Street

We'll need to see what the design competition yields. Ideally it can draw inspiration from its surroundings or the city in general; it won't hurt to add layers to the project.

Focus on locals first, and be forward-thinking

Becoming a destination will take time. One mistake I'd hate to see the city make is to focus too much on international and out-of-state travelers, rather than spend time analyzing leakage of local tourism. How can San Jose convince south bay residents and other Bay Area locals to visit San Jose over the weekend with purpose? 

Until the city can figure out how to shed the "San Jose is boring" label by locals, there is going to be very little hope for broader appeal. Once this local leakage has been addressed, and locals know where to take visitors on any random weekend, then the tourism appeal will slowly grow from there. 

We don't have the picturesque historical structures other cities have which  provide natural tourist appeal. That doesn't mean tourism appeal is doomed, but we can build up from here. San Jose will need to think about where it wants to be in ten years or twenty years. 

After all, everything historical needs a starting point, and what's been built in the past half century has not worked. It's time to rethink how to build for the future.

-Lawrence Lui

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

New interactive AI exhibit at The Tech

Animaker is the first exhibit in the world that teaches kids about AI while actually teaching machines how to recognize objects in the real world. Visitors are invited to form animals out of lego blocks, which are then analyzed by a 3D scanner in conjunction with AI software and virtually placed in a jungle temple that is projected onto a wall. There is a two minute video below that shows how it works and it is quite an impressive concept.

Animaker is now open and will be at The Tech for at least a year. For more info, head over here.

New exhibit explores the future of creative play in an Artificial Intelligence driven world
Animaker invites visitors to collaborate with AI-powered robots and bring their creations to life

May 31, 2018, San Jose, CA-- The Tech Museum of Innovation is opening a new immersive exhibit which invites visitors to collaborate with AI-powered robots to bring their creations to life. In Animaker, visitors step into a large-scale projection of a jungle temple where robots invite them to form animals out of LEGO/Duplo bricks. Their creations are analyzed by the robots, incorporating cutting edge 3D-scanning technology and an AI powered search engine that understands 3D content. The animals then come to life in a virtual ancient temple, and can be personalized by changing their look and behavior. This is the first experience in the world where children play and learn about AI by training machines to recognize different interpretations of real world objects.

Bringing together primitive and futuristic creative expression practices from cave art, graffiti, video games, LEGO and digital art, the installation breaks down barriers between the physical and the virtual world and enables completely new play experiences. Animaker incorporates cutting-edge cross reality (XR) developments while avoiding the genre-typical technological barriers such as headsets or AR-enabled mobile devices.

Animaker is developed by a global team of educators, engineers, and artists from The Tech Museum of Innovation (San Jose, Ca), AI technology startup Resonai (Tel Aviv/Palo Alto), digital art studio OMAi (Vienna, Austria) and 3D scanning startup Occipital (San Francisco, Ca).

“Animaker allows visitors to experiment with new forms of human machine interaction that are enabled by artificial intelligence, and extend one of the most beloved play experiences, LEGO building, into the virtual space,” says Galia Rosen Schwarz, VP business development at Resonai. “Our visual search engine, that understands 3D geometry and structure, analyzes each build and recognizes the animal that it represents. One of the key challenges here was teaching a computer to recognize builds that even the human eye may misinterpret.”

“It is thrilling to watch children so creatively engaged in a learning activity that so seamlessly combines the physical and virtual world. When educators, artists and tech makers come together, the possibilities for inspiring the next generation of innovative leaders are endless. We see the power of this creative confidence and knowledge of how to use new tech to solve problems last far beyond our exhibition walls,” says Nadav Hochman, experience developer and program manager, Art & Technology, at The Tech. Animaker is a collaboration The Tech is facilitating as part of a new Art + Tech initiative. The goal is to build a bridge between the global creative community and the high-tech sector of the greater Silicon Valley to create new experiences with emerging technology.

About the Animaker collaborators:

Resonai powers machines to understand the world through super-human visual perception, allowing them to recognize objects, complex scenes and context. Resonai’s search engine, that analyzes the precise geometry and structure of 3D content, powers real time visual search and recognition. For more information visit

Vienna based art studio OMAi create visual experiences around the world. Their iPad app Tagtool, a live instrument for spontaneous digital creation, has sparked a global community of artists and educators and was featured in Apple’s WWDC keynote videos twice. For more information visit

Occipital makes the Structure Sensor & SDK, Skanect, Canvas, TapMeasure, 360 Panorama and the PX-80 by Paracosm. Occipital focuses on making advanced computer vision technologies simple enough for everyday use. Occipital is based in Boulder, CO, San Francisco, CA and Gainesville, FL. For more information, visit Occipital on the Web at and

The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum — located in the Capital of Silicon Valley — is a non-profit experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. The Tech’s mission is to inspire the innovator in everyone.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Content 10.2 (Sight & Sound) Pick-up Party

Content Magazine is hosting a party to celebrate their latest issues on April 19th (entitled "Sight & Sound") at the San Jose Museum of Art (110 S. Market St.), one of my favorite museums in San Jose.

The event goes from 7pm-10pm and includes live music, pop-up artwork, and fashion designs from the Cilker School of Art & Design. Subscribers get a free drink ticket, an appetizer by Trifecta Cooks, and free admission to the museum (along with a guest). For more information, head over to the event's Facebook page.

Friday, August 18, 2017

SoFA Sundays: Aug 20th, Sep 17th, Oct 15th

SoFA Sundays is a great artsy event taking place each month in Downtown San Jose. It is similar to South First Fridays, but goes down on the third Sunday of each month from noon to 4pm across the SoFA District. Museums and art galleries such as the ICA, MACLA, and The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles will all be open and offering free admission.

The event features plenty of entertainment such as live performances, chalk art, bocce ball, and some surprises. Of course there will be food, ice cream trucks, boutique coffee, and freshly pressed juices. A super cool and unique feature is free brunch delivery from the SoFA market to your seats in the event (powered by Cowgirl Bike Courier).

This is also a great opportunity to see the new redesign of Parque de los Pobladores at William and South First St., which is centered around a concept of "urban rooms." Have a look at the first photo below for a taste of the concept.

The next three SoFA Sundays are this Sunday, September 17th, and October 15th. Fore more details, check out the press release below or head over to their Facebook page.

Back for more on AUGUST 20, SoFA Sundays offer great opportunities
to enjoy the visual and performing arts of the SoFA District

SAN JOSE, CA (August 10, 2017) – Downtown San Jose’s SoFA (South First Area) District, the center of creativity, is enjoying SoFA Sundays – a FREE event series celebrating the area’s vibrant arts scene – every THIRD SUNDAY from 12noon to 4pm.

Art lovers can visit more galleries on Sundays, now that the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art [560 South First] and MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana [510 South First] are open Sundays. The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles [520 South First] is also open, and with a special ticket from SoFA Sundays, you can get in FREE.

SoFA Sundays will highlight the fabulous “Urban Rooms” redesign of Parque de los Pobladores at William and South First, with ice cream trucks, chalk art muralist Clif Gold, and live sound healing performances with Jessica Neideffer. Plus there are lots of great prizes on our “Spinning Wheel of SoFA”, all from local businesses. New neighbor Academic Coffee will be there, tasting their cold brews as well as Origins Juicery on South First.

Upcoming dates are: August 20, September 17, and October 15.

BICYCLE BRUNCH DELIVERY? Sure why not. Thanks to SOFA Market and Cowgirl Bike Courier, you can now order your favorite brunch items at your seat, and have them delivered FREE!

LOVE BOCCE? Let’s play in the dirt, the way the wise guys do in the old country. Real hardwood balls on a crushed gravel court. We take the game seriously.

Special thanks to participating SoFA Sundays businesses: Academic Coffee, Origins Juicery, SoFA Market, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Filco Events, SIGNET, and Salon Blu.

And for more information about SoFA Sundays, please visit our Facebook Page:

Sunday, May 7, 2017

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles 40th anniversary

I am way late on this post since the main event is happening right now, but did want to at least mention that the SJ Museum of Quilts & Textiles is celebrating four decades of existence today. This is always one of my favorite stops during First Fridays and today they are having a free open house until 4pm with tours and interactive art activities.

If you have not visited the museum in a while, they have four new exhibits that are definitely worth seeing. Part of their original mission was to show that quilts were more than just blankets or a women's hobby, but a valid medium for fine art and political expression. Some of the work is quite stunning and you can see a preview over here.

(To see the scope of the above piece, have a closer look here)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: Lucas Museum in San Jose (Part 2)

Well, it's official. Chicago is no longer in the running for an iconic museum housing George Lucas' expansive art collection. The leaves San Francisco and Los Angeles to fight for the $1.5 billion project. That includes $700 million in construction costs, a $400 endowment, and $400 million worth of art, educational materials, and movie memorabilia. That would be the largest single philanthropic gift by a private citizen to any city in the US.

I think now would be the time for San Jose to throw its hat in the ring. George Lucas has received boatloads of opposition from both San Francisco and Chicago. Their loss should be our gain--let's welcome Lucas with open arms!

There are several locations in or near Downtown San Jose that would work, not to mention Kelly Park. I'm sure we could arrange to give him total creative freedom and some sort of incentives in exchange for having another world class museum in San Jose. These are the types of projects that will help elevate San Jose's culture and brand to the next level. We have a million well-educated, diverse, progressive residents and these are the types of projects we need to fight for!

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: Lucas Museum in San Jose

Who would have thought it would be so difficult to get approval to build a $700 million cultural museum? George Lucas wants to build a stunning museum to house his collection of both digital and populous art. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few Star Wars relics in there as well. He is going to pay all of the costs of building and stocking the museum and just needs a location.

His first attempt was to build the museum in San Francisco on the Presidio. After years and back and forth, SF's ridiculous over-regulation killed the deal. Next, he looked towards his wife's hometown of Chicago. He nabbed a great location on the waterfront but a group of NIMBY's called "Friends of the Parks" are doing everything possible to kill the project. Now it looks like Oakland is putting their hat in the ring if Chicago falls through.

If George Lucas wants to build a $700 million museum as a gift to the world and all he needs is a great location, San Jose should get in on the running as well. There are several locations in or near Downtown San Jose that would work, as well as Kelly Park. I'm sure we could arrange to give him total creative freedom in exchange for having another world class museum in San Jose. These are the types of projects that will help elevate San Jose's culture and brand to the next level--we should be doing everything possible to bring a museum like this to San Jose!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: Museum of the Future

I recently stumbled across this video showing a new Dubai museum dedicated to future technology. The entire building itself is going to be printed using a giant 20-foot tall 3D printer. Even the furniture inside will be 3D printed. If the Tech Museum ever expands in the future, there may be some interesting concepts from this project that can be incorporated (like the laser projection at the very end of the video).

Monday, February 9, 2015

Downtown San Jose is Getting a Fire Museum!

A few weeks ago the San Jose City Council unanimously approved the sale of the old Fire Station No. 1 at 201 N. Market Street to the San Jose Fire Museum. The museum's backers hope to open the museum by 2020 and show off one of the largest collections of antique fire vehicles and equipment in the country. Currently the collections are in a city warehouse which is not accessible to the public.

The museum officials are now in the process of raising $14 million to renovate, retrofit, and expand the building. If it ends up looking anything like the drawing below, it will be a huge asset to both Downtown and the San Jose Metro. More info in the source link below.

Source: The Merc

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Alchemy Museum Coming to San Jose in 2015!

One of my Wednesday Wishlists ages ago was to see more museums in San Jose. They contribute to tourism, the economy, and provide new educational opportunities for local residents. In 2013 not one, but two major museums were announced. The first was the Italian Heritage Museum in the burgeoning Little Italy neighborhood Downtown. The second is going to be the largest Alchemy Museum in the world!

The RoseCroix University building next to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum will be converted to a full-blown Alchemy Museum in 2015. Since alchemy is thought to have originated in ancient Egypt, this seems like an ideal location.

The museum will have seven different rooms with exhibits, one for each of the seven phases of alchemical transformation:

  • Calcination
  • Dissolution
  • Separation
  • Conjunction
  • Fermentation [Josh: my favorite]
  • Distillation
  • Coagulation

To top it off, there will be interactive exhibits, lectures, a working alchemy lab, and an auditorium for events. Apparently this will be the only facility of its kind in the US.

You will be able to get a sneak preview of this new project at the Egyptian Museum next summer. The Rosicrucians are planning a special alchemy exhibit to promote the new museum, which is again due out in 2015.

Source: MetroActive

Rosicrucian Park

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

San Jose Is Getting a New Museum

This adobe home--which was built in the 1830s and is one of only two remaining adobe buildings in San Jose--is about to become a museum. The historic Roberto-Sunol Adobe & Laura Ville site located in Willow Glen is being donated by the Bruzzone family to the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County. They easily could have sold it, but instead they spent $50,000 renovating the site to help its transition to becoming a museum that will be shared with all of San Jose. The only other similar structure that exists is the Peralta Adobe in Downtown San Jose. For more information check out the source link below (it's a really interesting read).

Source: The Merc

Roberto-Sunol Adobe

Roberto-Sunol Adobe

Roberto-Sunol Adobe

Roberto-Sunol Adobe

Roberto-Sunol Adobe

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Artists to create Holidays Unboxed: A Spectacle of Cardboard and Tape at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Holidays Unboxed

November 29, 2012 - San Jose, CA:  Imagine what would happen if cardboard and tape were given the chance to come to life…

This weekend, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose (CDM) will begin the creation of Holidays Unboxed: A Spectacle of Cardboard and Tape.  Building off the most basic of holiday materials – tape and cardboard – artists and makers will transform the inside of the Museum’s streetscape through two iconic art installations.  Emerging from rolls of packing tape, Tape Scape by Eric Lennartsonwill become a maze evocative of an ice sculpture.  Constructed out of ordinary cardboard, a large scale hanging sculptureby the Cardboard Institute of Technology will reach high overhead in the center of the Museum

Armed with more than 300 rolls of packing tape donated by Molex Corporation, artist and architect Eric Lennartson will lead CDM staff and volunteer helpers on a journey to construct Tape Scape.  Reminiscent of ice crystals forming, fourteen miles of tape will be stretched and interlaced over a metal structure, creating an immersive, interactive ice inspired environment to delight children and adults. 

A steel armature built by Protoform shoots up twenty-five feet into the middle of the Museum, ready for the San Francisco-based artist collective known as the Cardboard Institute for Technology (CIT) to install a large-scale hanging sculpture.   Made from recycled cardboard, the creation will unfold, flex, and fan out into newfound forms.    Visitors will be awestruck at the unlimited possibilities of recycled materials. 

Come see cardboard and tape coming to life as you’ve never seen them before, curling, bending and folding into wondrous worlds that will reach from floor to ceiling at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. 
Holidays Unboxed: A Spectacle of Cardboard and Tape will be open to the public from December 15, 2012, through February 3, 2013.  At the close of the exhibition, the materials will be reused, giving them a chance to experience life for a third time, and inspiring visitors to think “outside the box.” 

Artist installation schedule:
·         Tape Scape – Artist Eric Lennartson and volunteers will be onsite Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily.  Installation will continue with volunteers daily through Wednesday December 5.
·         Hanging sculpture – Cardboard Institute of Technology will be onsite to install Monday, December 3 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

With over 150 interactive exhibits and programs, Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose (CDM) is one of the largest museums of its kind in the nation.  Since opening its doors in 1990, CDM has welcomed over 6 million visitors and has offered new exhibits each year that respond to children's diverse educational needs. The striking 52,000 square foot purple building was designed by Mexico City-based architect Ricardo Legorreta and is a beacon of discovery. Encompassing the broad themes of community, connections and creativity, hands-on exhibits invite self-directed, open-ended explorations.  For more information about the Museum, visit


Eric Lennartson is an Architectural Designer and Marketing Development Coordinator for Paulson Architects in Minnesota.  Eric has over 13 years of professional design experience, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.  Eric is also the Building Chair and board member of the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, a new emerging museum based in the Mankato area and the first home of aTape Scape installation.


At its core, The Cardboard Institute of Technology (C.I.T.) is a collective of artists, technologists and handymen dedicated to the development, functionality and everyday practice of art...through cardboard and other means. The Institute is a multifaceted hub for Collective Art Practice, Educational Workshop Development and Instruction.  C.I.T. is an Epic Design and Fabrication and storytelling collective Studio.

The Cardboard Institute of Technology was formed in 2007 by Joshua Short and Scott Falkowski. In 2008 CIT created its first official show "Welcome to Cardburg.”  Since its inception the group has grown into an art collective that reaches far and wide.