OPEN: An Exhibition by Tsao & McKown Architects
Syracuse University School of Architecture
Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown aim to provide a critical context to seven projects in their OPEN exhibition, ranging from a lipstick tube to a prototypical community of 25,000 in China. The exhibition provides a theoretical framework with which to view the projects, with the inclusion of historical, cultural, and economic background research in addition to sketches and drawings that demonstrate the design process at work.
Realizing the limitations of a gallery—that is, the impossibility of showing actual architecture, as well as a limited space to display information—Tsao and McKown decided to post the exhibition materials online and make the gallery a gathering space for students. In the center of the gallery, a raised platform with sides angled to provide backrest is lined with felt and populated with dozens of throw pillows (graffiti markers included). Films that have influenced Tsao and McKown are projected on a screen that runs along the back of the platform.
With wall space freed up the team fill the gallery with images of their lives at work, from moonlighting on Vogue sets to work done before architecture school, allowing students to understand the details that inform and motivate their work.