Friday at Seaport (SEAPORT)

Join us at our new South Street Seaport location for an evening of playful aesthetic theory and popular science for the socially concerned. 


6:00 - Is FUN a Four-letter Word?: A Bingo-based Investigation of the Aesthetics of Play with John Sharp and David Thomas

When someone says, “That was fun!” we all intuitively understand what they mean. But what is fun, exactly? If something is fun, is it pleasant? Entertaining? Silly? A way to trick students into learning? Is it a throw-away term like cool, awesome, or interesting? 

Using the time-honored philosophical tool of bingo, a group of experts will give fun its due as a central part of life. Join game designer John Sharp and architectural scholar David Thomas, authors of Fun, Taste, & Games (The MIT Press, 2019) as they unpack fun with a panel of fun-makers: actor and playwright Lee LeBreton, immersive theater director Ian McNeely, and artist Nancy Nowacek.

With bingo and the requisite prizes, this promises to be, well… fun.

John Sharp is Associate Professor in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons School of Design at the New School. He is the author of Works of Game: On the Aesthetics of Games and Art (MIT Press) and coauthor (with Colleen Macklin) of Games, Design, and Play: A Detailed Approach to Iterative Game Designand (with David Thomas) Fun, Taste, & Games: An Aesthetics of the Idle, Unproductive, and Otherwise Playful (MIT Press). Sharp and Macklin are Codirectors of the PETLab (Prototyping Education and Technology Lab) at Parsons.

David Thomas is Assistant Professor in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. A former game journalist, he runs the website


8:00 - Inconspicuous Consumption: Tatiana Schlossberg and Hannah Goldfield 

From former New York Times Science writer Tatiana Schlossberg comes Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have, a fascinating and unexpectedly entertaining look at the way climate change and environmental pollution are intimately involved in our everyday life – in everything we use, buy, eat, wear, and how we get around – and have consequences that extend far beyond our lives.

With urgency and wit,Tatiana Schlossberg explains the way climate change and environmental pollution are far from being only a distant problem and how these issues are engrained in our everyday life as well as having consequences that extend far beyond our day to day. Climate change is all around us, all the time lurking everywhere in our convenience-driven society, all without our realizing it.

By examining the unseen and unconscious environmental impacts in four areas-the Internet and technology, food, fashion, and fuel - Schlossberg helps readers better understand why climate change is such a complicated issue, and how it connects all of us: How streaming a movie on Netflix in New York burns coal in Virginia or how eating a hamburger in California might contribute to pollution in the Gulf of Mexico. Cataloging the complexities and frustrations of our carbon-intensive society with a dry sense of humor, Schlossberg makes the climate crisis and its solutions interesting and relevant to everyone who cares, even a little, about the planet.

Most importantly, this is a book about the power we have as voters and consumers to make sure that the fight against climate change includes all of us and all of our stuff, not just industry groups and politicians. If we have any hope of solving the problem, we all have to do it together.

Tatiana Schlossberg is a journalist writing about climate change and the environment. She previously reported on those subjects for the Science and Climate sections of the New York Times, where she also worked on the Metro desk. Her work has also appeared in the Atlantic, Bloomberg View, the Record (Bergen County), and the Vineyard Gazette. She lives in New York.

Hannah Goldfield is the food critic for The New Yorker, where she writes the weekly Tables for Two restaurant column in the Goings On About Town section of the magazine, as well as food-related essays and reported stories for Previously, she was a fact checker at The New Yorker, and an editor at T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Her writing has appeared in New York magazine and the Times, among other publications.