First-ever Rochester Prototyping Festival explores creativity, i - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

First-ever Rochester Prototyping Festival explores creativity, innovation

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

More than 100 people in 16 different groups are showing off their creativity over the next few days.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Rochester Prototyping Festival is officially taking over downtown.

The first-ever Rochester Prototyping Festival has taken downtown Rochester by storm, especially exciting for those who are designers or artists, in the prototyping groups.

The festival is being put on in a collaboration between DMC, The Rochester Art Center, and the Rochester Downtown Alliance, giving a group of 16 prototypes (chosen out of 23 submittals) a chance to show off to the community what they do, temporarily, and receive feedback...before possibly implementing the creations into the city for good.

Some prototypes are geared toward music, such as giant interactive chimes, in which you and a pal or two can make sweet music.

Other prototypes are geared toward making people far from home feel welcome, through wayfaring and multilingual signs.

"I strongly believe in languages and the fact of the matter is that I think it is the global citizenry that we see through this project, and that is what we're trying to highlight,” said Edgar Mtanous, the project manager of the Multilingual Pedestrian Sign prototype.

You name it, and the prototyping festival has probably got it covered.

"Anything from creative seating to some lighting installations, to crosswalks really meant for the community to be interacting with these installations," said Jenna Bowman, Executive Director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance.

The Kids on the Block Prototype is all about making education healthy and fun.

"I think kids learn most by doing and I think they enjoy creative endeavors more than anything,” said Raquel Collison, part of Kids on the Block.

Though these prototypes are only temporary (for now) a survey could make them prototypes more static.

"One of the questions we're asking the city is that if you want to see one permanently, which one would it be?" said Bowman.

But whether here for three days or here to stay, sparking ideas are at each prototype's core.

"People will see how easy and cost-effective this prototype can be in their own backyards and I hope they can take some of these ideas and use them in spaces that are under-utilized and truthfully not green," said Collison.

Fun fact: One prototype, The Creative Crosswalks, are here to stay.

The prototype festival will continue Friday and Saturday in downtown Rochester.

For a complete list of events and to read about each prototype being featured, head over to this website:

http://www.downtownrochestermn.com/events/PlaceMakers

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