As we mark the lead up to our 7th Birthday celebrations, Imaginosity's General Manager Jenny Bohan takes a look back at Imaginosity's early days, while also taking a peak back at her own.
Growing up in the area, I fondly recall everlasting hot sticky days spent running along the old railway track picking blackberries to our hearts content. We would drift from a local estate in numbers and wander aimlessly exploring unchartered territory, well, as far as we were concerned anyway. But that was Sandyford then, many moons ago where the most exciting thing was a trip to the 'Tea Time Express' factory cake shop for a cream bun!
This is all hard to fathom when you view the heaving metropolis Sandyford has turned into. There's so much packed in its hard to find what you're looking for, even if you know what that is! Of course I am biased in saying the diamond in the rough has got to be Imaginosity, a stunningly beautiful building, developed by Landmark Enterprises and designed but Traynor O' Toole. But this gemstone is hidden, surrounded by towering buildings hitched up against the backdrop of the Dublin Mountains. Some are gleaming, flashy in the sunlight, some vast and void, unfinished memories of good and bad times. These beacon towers all stand sentry, watching as commuters spin past by car, on foot and light rail, but not oblivious to the memories or time flying by in the blink of an eye! Although the commuters do seem blissfully unaware of the cries of joy and screams of laughter experienced on a daily basis within this beautiful inspiring structure! If only they knew, the fun that can be had when you put your trust into the hands of a child.
I'm proud to say that I was involved in the development of this amazing and unique addition to Sandyford as a project Manager from early July 2006, and that all who were involved viewed it as a life's passion rather than a job. It was with children and community in mind that it was developed and continues to serve as a not for profit Charitable organisation. The concept gleams from the United States where the first children's museum was developed in Brooklyn in 1899, followed by Boston (1913), Detroit (1917) and Indianapolis (1925). Children's museums don't enforce strict schedules or agendas, they are places where children freely play and learn through their play. They house enhanced exciting environments that are specifically developed to allow for this non-directed play. These environments are powerful in their ability to engage children and stimulate curiosity, imagination, experimentation and role play. Children's museums celebrate children, but they also create quality experiences for families.