The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB) is an artist-run, renovated recreational vehicle that exists as a flexible space open to community members’ proposals for alternative educational and cultural programming.

MLAB is the collaborative effort of the 2007-2008 Social Sculpture class at Syracuse University, comprised of 10 art and architecture students and lead by artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts of Syracuse University, Marion Wilson. Our mission was to transform a used, 1984 Recreational Vehicle Bus into a Mobile Literacy and Arts Bus for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community. MLAB serves as a physical manifestation of Syracuse University’s Scholarship in Action initiative, by pairing University resources with community needs in an attempt to address the staggering drop out rates in the Syracuse City School District High Schools. Through the School of Education at Syracuse University, incredible curricula that bridge photography, poetry and literacy currently exist within the public schools-- however due to a crisis of space, the schools don't always have the space or resources to house it. MLAB is this space. The bus serves as a mobile classroom, digital photo lab, gallery space, and community center. As a team, we did it all: demolition, design, and construction.

MLAB is made possible from the generous support of the School of Education at Syracuse University and Entitiative.

Monday, October 15, 2007

postcards ordered

Just an update for the curious: We ordered another round of 500 postcards from ModernPostcards. We have taken the cheap route this time, w/ 4 day processing and 2 day delivery, so that means the cards won’t be ready for Thursday’s class; but they should be arriving at Marion’s doorstep early next week – ready to be handed out at the following class.

Also, my A to the Q: As I am still defining my own personal practice, I see m-lab (and involvement in other community partnership design/builds) as a means to ground myself and my work. There is a practicality to architecture that should be in parallel to the creative act of designing. In designing and building a space that responds to a community’s need by altering our concept of a “classroom”, a “RV” and even a course curriculum; m-lab embodies this parallel.

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