Where History and Technology Collide

Founded by a team of historians and multimedia experts, BLDG BLOK brings the past to the future with one-of-a-kind interactive experiences.

About Us

In 2012, Dana Karwas and Liz McEnaney leveraged their experiences as practitioners and academics focused on the intersection of urban history and technology and launched BLDG BLOK – a collaborative of historians, preservationists, archivists, digital media arts, and programmers who are inventing and creating new ways to present history.

Dana Karwas

Dana Karwas is an Instructor of Integrated Digital Media at NYU's School of Engineering. She teaches courses in Interactive Performance Art, Interaction Design, and Project Development for Interactive Media. Dana has taught classes on digital media at NYU's ITP program, NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, and at Harvestworks digital media center in NYC. Dana's projects have been shown at The Boston Museum of Science, The London Festival of Architecture, The Chelsea Art Museum, The Museo de Belle Arts Caracas, The Contemporary Art Museum Caracas, The DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival, The University Club NYC, Knoll International Paris, Karkula Gallery NYC, The Museum of Television and Radio NYC, and The International Contemporary Furniture Fair NYC. Before teaching full time at NYU she was the media director at Maya Lin Studio.

Liz McEnaney

Liz McEnaney is an urban historian and preservationist. She teaches in the historic preservation at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She has curated exhibitions, developed and implemented site interpretation strategies, and spearheaded research projects related to the built environment in locations ranging from Manhattan’s Upper West Side to Delhi, India to Maputo, Mozambique. Her most recent work includes curating an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York on the history of Staten Island, and producing a documentary film about planning issues in New York’s Hudson Valley that premiered in the Fall of 2013 and will air on PBS. She has collaborated with institutions and clients including the Kress Foundation, the World Monuments Fund, the Leon Levy Foundation, the New York Preservation Archive Project, the Museum of the City of New York, Our Hudson, Wave Hill, the Hudson River Foundation, Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative, and Pentagram Design. Prior to founding BLDG BLOK, Liz was the Executive Director of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation.

Services

If you lose your history, you lose your soul. BLDG BLOK connects you to the past -- focusing on the moments that matter most and, in the process, making you care about what’s happening right now. Our team of historians and digital media specialists research and write about these stories and deliver them to you on mobile devices and web platforms, in exhibition and public spaces, and on the streets.

Here's what we do:

  • Custom content production
  • Film and media production
  • Curatorial and Archival Research
  • Web, mobile and emerging platform development
  • Design and installation of site-specific artworks and projections
  • Interactive exhibition design
  • Large-scale, one-of-a-kind event and spectacle production

Here's who we do it for:

Clients include cultural and academic institutions, corporations, small businesses, and city agencies that want to tell the awe-inspiring story of the past to deliver experiences and products to customers today.

Projects

  • Client: NYU-Poly MTA / AT&T Appquest Hackathon
  • Service: Custom Content and Projection for large-scale event
  • Description: 842 miles of track, 468 stations, and 34 train lines. How do you tell the story of a system that handles over 1.65 billion rides a year? BLDG BLOK distilled over 140 years of New York City’s rapid transit history and projected it on the walls of a large-scale event space in downtown Brooklyn at the MTA App Quest Hackathon, sponsored by New York State’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and AT&T.

  • Client: Bldg92 / Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • Service: Location-based mobile app (iOS and Android)
  • Description: It was once the Barbary Coast of New York, with brothels, gambling houses and brawling. Later it was the stomping ground of seafarers and Riveting Rosies. Today, sugar manufacturers rub elbows with Hollywood actors. BLDG BLOK’s location-based history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, featuring exclusive content and images, will be available in Spring 2014.

  • Client: BLDG BLOK, in partnership with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Columbia University’s Center for Urban Real Estate; NYU-Poly; and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.
  • Service: Event Production
  • Description: A tornado did not deter over a hundred people from coming out for a night where the past and present collided in discussions, performances, and code. The Programmer vs. The Historian, featured our brave architectural historian Francis Morrone who was pitted against programmers Vache Asatryan and Cody Fulcher, musicians Kodomo and Zach Layton, filmmaker Gary Breslin, poet Justine El-Khazen, and writer Sean Kennedy.

Contact Us

  • BLDG BLOK
  • NYU-Poly Incubator
  • 20 Jay Street, Suite 312
  • Brooklyn, NY, 11201
  • info@bldgblok.com
  • 347 - 369 - 4570