It happened suddenly, as if out of nowhere: NYU’s Gallatin opened Global Design/Elsewhere Envisioned, an exhibition that comes with two symposia, is described as an initiative, and some hope might just morph into a new school of architecture.
A large crowd was on hand for Jesse Reiser of Reiser/Umemoto’s keynote about four far-afield projects. At the reception afterwards, the crowd milled around an installation of some 20 models sitting atop a pile of cleverly laser-cut white poly-foam pieces stacked in interlocking massifs shaped as Manhattan; the bio-paisley pieces can be unlocked and used as package peanuts when the models are shipped on to NYU satellites around the world.
Open through June 15, the diverse display included BIG’s 57th Street condo; Reiser Uemototo’s 0-14 in Dubai, mercury-colored droplets by Evan Douglis; 3D-printed green mystery blocks from Urban Future’s The VeryMany, video demonstrations of Decker Yeadon’s Homeostatic Façade System enabled by artificial muscles, WORKac’s infrastructure-containing Plug-Out housing proposal, and others, all requiring more focus than possible with a glass of wine in hand.
The show was variously referred to as a marvelous and all-too-rare look at assorted contemporary efforts or as the friends-of-Mitch collection. Mitch being Mitchell Joachim, co-fonder of Planetary One who was appointed in the past year together with Louise Harpman of Specht Harpman in New York and Texas and Peder Anker, historian of ecology to get “leading-edge architects, designers, and theorists to address design issues that affect global ecology and the environment.” (More professorship appointments are expected. Hopeful contenders were in the crowd.) Joachim contributed several pieces to the show including a myco-model of the New Museum made from a mushroom grown in seven days under Plexiglas.
Stay tuned for Symposium 2 on June 10 when BIG’s Bjarke Ingels is supposed to talk about individual responsibility in the face of climate crisis, presumably against a backdrop of slides of his work.