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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Public Market Markets New 'Eco-Friendly' Remodel

From NPR radio station KQED:

Emeryville's Public Market Showcases Eco-Friendly Remodel


Katrina Schwartz/KQED
Exploratorium artist Shawn Lani explains an exhibit demonstrating how bay sediment behaves.
Emeryville's Public Market is celebrating an eco-friendly remodeling, with interactive exhibits that show off its new features.  The site received a LEED platinum certification for neighborhood development for remediation work on what was once a toxic “brownfield,” as well as emphasizing sustainable operations, using recycled materials, installing a rain garden to filter runoff before it enters the Bay, and emphasizing public transportation and biking facilities.
Public Market has also partnered with San Francisco's Exploratorium to help teach visitors about the sustainability upgrades and about the natural world that surrounds the retail space.

An Exploratorium “explainer” is on hand, using a large glass wheel to show how Bay sediment would be affected by currents.  They are explaining that some sediments fall faster because of the different densities, which is why the wheel separates into all different colors.
Shawn Lani is a senior artist at the Exploratorium, and is responsible for the exhibits.  He says the displays leave the visitor more curious.

"We want these experiences to be haunting, we want them to have some residual," Lani says. "We call them an animated aftermath. This notion that there’s a vibrancy now that might not have been before, and you take that with you."
The exhibits are woven throughout the plazas between retail spaces.

It might seem strange to bring science to a mall, but this one is a pioneer in sustainability.  It's the first partnership between the Exploratorium museum and a private partner, a trend the museum hopes to develop. The displays at Public Market are also the first Exploratorium exhibits in the East Bay. 

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