The pop-up color experience Color Factory, which was a huge hit in San Francisco, is now coming to New York! Opening August 20th, the 20,000-square-foot interactive exhibit in Soho features 16 color installations by a roster of top artists and designers. “There are surprises around every corner,” says co-creator Jordan Ferney. “We designed what we wanted to experience.” Here’s a first look…
Guests flow through the exhibit, starting with Tokyo-based architect Emmanuelle Moureaux‘s ‘100 Colors.’ It features rows of dangling paper strips, inspired by traditional Japanese sliding screens.
As you walk through, you read the fascinating histories behind 26 unusual colors written by Kassia St. Clair. Other rooms include rainbow cookies zipping by on a conveyor belt (help yourself!) and a walkable infographic.
“Our goal is to make a kid think this the most fun thing in the entire world on a surface level,” says Jordan. “And for an adult to be fulfilled by the same things — like the light-up dance floor — but also the funny, special, even serious moments you have to look more closely to find.”
“The pit, with 500,000 balls, feels like going to the ocean,” says co-creator Leah Rosenberg. “It’s fun and playful, but there’s also a white noise thing that ends up happening, which is calming.”
Prop stylist Randi Brookman Harris curated the playful gift shop, with rainbow umbrellas and polka-dot socks. A portion of every sale goes to charity.
Even colors of the building’s facade are from moments found around New York City. For example, the mint green is the color of the bike lanes on Chrystie Street, the faded orange is the color of the F train and the muted blue is the color of the Manhattan Bridge.
Co-creators Erin Jang, Jordan Ferney and Leah Rosenberg
Color Factory opens to the public Monday, August 20th, in Soho. You can buy tickets here. You can also get their free neighborhood map at the door (no ticket required), which has 23 hidden Color Factory surprises throughout Manhattan, including an A.T.M. that spits out Jason Polan artwork, and a rainbow bench in a secret garden, where you’ll find a telephone number to a guided color meditation. “It feels like a scavenger hunt,” says Jordan. “We hope this experience will help people to start recognizing the magic in their everyday lives.”
(Ball pit and dance floor photos from Color Factory. All other photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo.)