LOWER EAST SIDE — Cutting-edge thinkers will gather this weekend to discuss a host of creative concepts ranging from real estate to farming and manufacturing.
The Feast Pavilion, which runs this Saturday from noon until 6 p.m, will operate much like a trade show for ideas. The free festival, set up in a vacant warehouse at the corner of Essex and Delancey streets, will allow the public to interact with "idea installations" that aim to better the environment, community and the arts.
The Feast Pavilion, which will also include food trucks and live music, marks the end of a three-day conference called The Feast, now in its fifth year.
Ideas to be dicussed at Saturday's event include the locally generated idea MiLES, which is an attempt to turn more than 200 vacant storefronts and lots on the Lower East Side into quick-hit rentals.
MiLES, or Made in the Lower East Side, includes creating an online catalog of vacant stores and lots to give community groups, businesses and local residents a chance to rent spaces directly from landlords on a temporary basis.
"We are trying to get people to think about, 'What can I do?'" said architect and MiLES co-creator Eric Ho, of the organization's installation at the Feast Pavilion.
He is hoping those who visit the festival will provide their own ideas for what can fill vacant storefronts in the neighborhood. All ideas will be pinned to a giant map of the Lower East Side.
"Some people want low-income housing, orchards, green space, restaurants, teaching space," Ho said of the possible ideas.
He and the installation's coordinator, Kristina Drury from TYTHEdesign, hope to log the community's input for research in developing their new initiatives, as well as rub shoulders with creative minds.
Other participants include Open Source Ecology, which is developing a platform that allows the DIY construction of machinery required in a "sustainable civilization with modern comforts."
The Global Village Construction Set aims to lower the barriers of entry into farming, building and manufacturing by creating blueprints allowing the average person to building their machinery — from tractors to printers to wind turbines — for a fraction of the cost.
Also at the idea trade show will be the Windmill Factory, a collective of artists, designers, performers and producers who attempt to address social and environmental issues in a creative fashion.
The Windmill Factory creates and produces performances, sculptures and dance collaborations, and has a client list that includes Apple, Cirque du Soleil and Madonna.
The Feast Pavilion goes from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. at 121 Delancey Street. Entry is free.