Cas Holman

LSC is collaborating with famed toy designer Cas Holman on a one-of-a-kind, immersive new exhibition

LSC News

Something special is coming to Liberty Science Center this holiday season!

We’ve been hard at work over the last year collaborating with renowned toy designer Cas Holman on an amazing new permanent exhibition for young kids, ages 0-5, in the space formerly occupied by our I Explore gallery. And while I Explore was loved by so many, we knew that after a decade our youngest visitors needed something new!

Cas Holman
Cas Holman

New exhibition designed by toy designer Cas Holman
A sneak peek at the entrance of the new exhibition

Collaborating with Holman was a natural fit, as LSC guests have already experienced her work. If you’ve visited our Block Party gallery, you’ll remember the giant blue blocks. Those blocks, among many other popular playthings, were designed by Holman!

Kids playing in the Block Party exhibition
Kids playing with the giant blue blocks in Block Party

We can’t reveal too much about our new adventure yet (we don’t want to ruin the surprise!). But we can promise you there’s nothing else like it in the country. It’s a bright, inviting, must-see experience for kids in the NJ/NYC, an incredible environment where our youngest visitors can develop core skills like balance, motion, and cause and effect.

The exhibition will be ready for you by December, and we’ll have lots more to reveal in the coming weeks. But until then, we caught up with Holman to learn more about her inspiration for the exhibit and what you can expect.

Liberty Science Center: Tell us about where the inspiration came from for this exhibition.

Cas Holman: The team at LSC reached out to me and said there’s a space they wanted to reimagine, redesign, and rebuild.

They also told me they were thinking a lot about the concept of balance – and for young children, that’s really their whole existence, right? Trying to figure out how things work, what’s going on in the world, and of course, physically balancing themselves and their bodies and developing the fine motor skills to balance other things. So this exhibit came to life around that idea.

One of Cas Holman's sketches
One of Holman's sketches outlining the exhibition

LSC: What do you hope children take away from this exhibition?

CH: I hope they feel comfortable exploring things they aren’t familiar with. Comfort in uncertainty is, now, more critical than ever – and I think when children get to exercise that early on, it has a lasting impact with how comfortable they are at figuring things out.

Cas Holman tests out one of the parts of the new exhibition
Holman tests out one of the parts of the new exhibition

LSC: Tell us more about the colors you chose for this space.

CH: I think there’s an assumption that children need bright colors. Children’s lives – and all of our lives – are visually overwhelming, and kids are already so stimulated. So a lot of what we were trying to do with this exhibit is a bit more soothing. The color palette is muted, and it’s beautiful, but it’s not meant to have too much sensory stimulation.

One of Cas Holman's sketches
A sketch outlining one of the exhibition's coolest features, the Body Mobile

LSC: Are there any other artists whose work helped inspire this exhibit?

CH: Yes, a lot of the inspiration was around Alexander Calder mobiles, primarily. That is one of the most prominent fixtures and features of this space.

Example of an Alexander Calder mobile
An example of an Alexander Calder mobile

LSC: And how did you design this exhibit with grown-ups in mind?

CH: We really wanted to take into account the needs of people who actually use this space. So, for example, we have amenities like a restroom with child-sized fixtures, a crawl space for infants, and a breastfeeding nook. Although you’re welcome to nurse anywhere at LSC, we wanted to take into account that people using this space might have very little ones in the group, alongside toddlers or four-year-olds.

One of Cas Holman's sketches
Holman's sketch of another fun part of the exhibition, the Sorting Station

LSC: Why should kids keep coming back to the exhibit over and over?

CH: We really want kids to have an ongoing relationship with this space. When they’re 18 months old, they might not be able to fully crawl up to certain places – but when they’re 2 years old, they’ll be able to make it a little further. And then, when they’re 4 years old, they’ll be the ones at the top! It’s kind of like there are levels of mastery involved.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates about our new young learner exhibition!

New exhibition designed by toy designer Cas Holman
A sneak peek at one of the prettiest parts of the new exhibition

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