A Curious Summer, 2010

A Curious Summer is a series of one-of-a-kind workshops driven by the curiosity of your child. We aim to induce wonder and spark enthusiasm for the everyday world around us. We consider play, the mysterious work of the child, to be an advanced and sophisticated endeavor, profoundly central to a child’s individual development and theories about the world. A Curious Summer workshops encourage discovery through free play, tinkering, and imagination.

Each week we will undertake a unique project. At the end of the week kids will share their experience with family and friends in a reception that showcases their discoveries.
On some weeks we will use the Studio for Urban Projects storefront as our home base, turning it into a laboratory and point of departure for urban excursions. Other weeks we will meet at locations around the city. (Carpools for participants may be arranged weekly).

Drop off at 9:00. Pick up at 4:00. Extended care offered between 8:00 and 9 and 4-5:30 on a donation basis. A reception that showcases your child’s work will be held each Friday evening at 5pm. For more information about A Curious Summer, please visit acurious.org, contact us at  info@acurious.org, or by phone at 415.627.7966. A Curious Summer is conceived by Bryan Welch and Marina McDougall. Each week will be led by Bryan Welch along with special guests.

June 14-18
ages 10 and up
During this week’s workshop we will imagine, design and construct a range of projects out of fabric. We’ll start with a studio full of sewing machines and piled high with textiles. We’ll be joined by tailors and designers who will guide us, inspire us and take us behind the scenes at factories and boutiques. We’ll see how making things out of cloth requires us to think like architects, painters, and sculptors. Deconstructing old clothes, we’ll see how they are made before turning them into something new.
 Drop off/pick up at the Studio for Urban Projects.

June 21-25
ages 6 and up
Join us as we design shelters out of natural materials that keeps us warm and dry in different wild landscapes of San Francisco. We’ll start with a visit to an Ohlone hut in the heart of the Mission. Throughout the week we’ll gain inspiration and technique from different cultures around the world as we explore the relationship natural buildings have with their local ecology. We’ll enlist the help of architect and engineers, and master knot-tying and lashing. We’ll observe local wildlife, and see how they build their homes.
Drop off/pick up at locations around the city.

Curious Cafe
June 28-July 2
ages 4 and up
Explore the hidden gardens, farms and wild foraging spots of San Francisco. Turning the storefront into a restaurant, we’ll create inventive meals and desserts inspired by the ingredients we find and serve them to family and friends. In daily excursions we’ll learn about where our food comes from, how it is grown and explore the culinary traditions of local and diverse communities. We’ll also explore our sense of taste and play tricks on our tongue by sampling miracle fruit.
 Special guests: Chefs Nicole LoBue and Leif Hedendal . Drop off/pick up at the Studio for Urban Projects.

July 12-23
ages 10 and up
This two-week workshop will be an odyssey through light, time, and image. On our first day, we’ll turn the Studio into a giant camera, and begin to experiment with high-speed photography and long exposures. We’ll go on photography expeditions and uncover secrets of the city. We’ll explore “persistence of vision” – the illusion that makes us perceive motion from a series of still images – by playing with thaumatropes, zoetropes and praxinoscopes. Each day we’ll watch and discuss rare and amazing animated short films. By the second week, we’ll be under way directing our own stop motion masterpieces. Drop off/pick up at the Studio for Urban Projects.

August 9-13
ages 6 and up
Beginning with a mountain of cardboard and other found materials, we will transform our studio into a labyrinth filled with secret passageways, hidden treasures, and other creations that emerge from our imaginations. We’ll work with pulleys, levers, and kinetic energy to make booby traps and mechanical surprises. Visiting artists will help us work with scale, texture, bricolage, and assist in creating costumes for our heroes and monsters. At the end of  the week, we’ll throw a party and open our labyrinth to the public.
Drop off/pick up at the Studio for Urban Projects.

Ocean Life
August 16-20
ages 6 and up
Through the lenses of science, art, and narrative, we’ll explore life IN, OF and ON the ocean. We’ll study the incredible diversity of adaptations that ocean creatures have developed in order to thrive in San Francisco waters. We’ll study the life cycle of the crab, and go on a crab catch-and-release adventure. We’ll come face to face with a Humbolt squid, and make art with squid ink. We’ll visit ships of all shapes and sizes, and immerse ourselves in the maritime culture and history of our city.
Special guests: Gulf of the Farallones Visitor Center’s Justin Holl and Peter Winch; and printmaker Julie Whitcomb. Drop off/pick up at Crissy Field.

August 23-27
ages 10 and up
Harness the incredible, invisible power of wind! We’ll try and figure out where wind comes from, and learn to predict its behavior. We’ll get hands-on experience of aerodynamics and lift as we tinker with wind powered machines and vehicles. Go sailing, build a wind turbine, play with a paragliding wing, design kites and gliders.
Special guest: Gever Tulley, paragliding instructor and founder
of the Tinkering School.
 Drop off/pick up: Crissy Field.

Stitch, Curious Cafe, Stop Motion, Labyrinth meet at the Studio for Urban Projects 3579 17th Street. Shelter, Ocean Life and Wind meet at the locations noted.

Tuition for each one-week workshop is $325. Stop/Motion is $650 for two weeks. We are able to offer sliding scale tuition to a portion of our participants. Please see acurious.org for more information.

Please visit acurious.org to register.

Please note that we are flexible on ages, particularly in the case of siblings. Please write us with any questions.

A Curious Summer is run by a generous community of volunteers. If you would like to be a part of our experiment this summer, please contact us at info@acurious.org.