News & Media

Visionary project to come to Downtown as West Palm Beach DDA selects ‘The Next Big Thing’

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (September 13, 2022) – The West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA), with support from the West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District, today announced the winner in its search for “The Next Big Thing” — a quest to bring a unique and imaginative outdoor experience to the heart of the city.  A community-wide project called Trojan Rocking Horses was chosen from a search that generated more than 20 international submissions aimed at engaging the West Palm Beach community, downtown residents, and visitors. 

Trojan Rocking Horses consists of eight life-sized rocking horses, each custom-designed by local children during design workshops and then fabricated locally, under the guidance of world-renowned Finnish artist and architect Marco Casagrande. The horses will begin their journey through various communities in West Palm Beach collecting messages from West Palm Beach citizens.  

Casagrande, a five-time invitee to the Venice Architecture Biennale and a recipient of the UNESCO Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, envisions each horse as a work of art and a gathering source for the community’s ideas and visions for the for the future of Downtown West Palm Beach.   

Upon arrival in Downtown, there will be a performance where the horses are placed as interactive sculptures that will symbolically deliver these aspirational messages to the heart of the City. The horses will continue to collect inspiring messages from the community as they remain in downtown. Several times each year, the messages will be reviewed and published both online and in printed newspaper. 

“This project is special because it directly involves the community from beginning to end, and truly is a project of, by, and for the people in West Palm Beach,” said Sherryl Muriente, Public Realm Director for the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority. “It will give local residents the opportunity to express their ideas and vision for the future of Downtown West Palm Beach through a visible expression of the community’s voice, empowering them in the process, as they build something together.”  

The goal of The Next Big Thing Project was to inspire placemakers to create a new experience that would be interactive, unique to the place, artistic, and ignite the community’s imagination. Applicants were asked to interpret the theme in their own, original, creative way reflecting on the idea of sparking moments of fascination, wonder, and imagination.  

With the selection process complete, the West Palm Beach DDA will work with Marco Casagrande and his team to bring this project to life over the next several months.  

For further information about the DDA, please visit or call (561) 833-8873. 


About the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority 

The West Palm Beach DDA is an independent taxing district created in 1967 by a special act of the Florida Legislature. Its mission is to promote and enhance a safe, vibrant Downtown for our residents, businesses and visitors through the strategic development of economic, social and cultural opportunities. 


About the West Palm Beach A&E District 

The West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District is a centralized collection of inspiring arts and entertainment venues; art and history museums; galleries; libraries; performing arts companies; and art education institutions. Situated in the heart of South Florida’s most progressive city, the District includes more than 20 distinct and distinguished cultural destinations that form a defining industry cluster. The A&E District enhances the appeal of West Palm Beach as a visitor destination, drawing attention to its status as a vibrant city illuminated by its beauty and range of creative expression. 


About Casagrande Laboratory 

Casagrande Laboratory is a multidisciplinary architecture and innovation company with projects ranging from one-family houses to CLT apartment buildings and from environmental art to landscape architecture and local knowledge based biourbanism. Spearheaded by world-renowned architect Marco Casagrande the Laboratory is involved with commission, research and educational projects with equally respected individuals, families, communities, companies, organizations, industries, cities, governments and environments as our clients. 

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