Fieldworks

Office Kovacs, Kyle May, and MILLIØNS to lead desert design-build festival in California

Fieldwork’s second annual desert design-build festival is coming to the California desert in May. Shown: Ghost House by I Thee (Daniel Schwartz)

In May 2019, Southern California’s “community in residence” design-build festival, Space Saloon, is returning to the desert highlands for its second incarnation.

Titled Fieldworks, the elbow grease-fueled festival will take its inspiration from “cumulative methods of scientific field research—the approaches, techniques, and processes used to collect raw data outside of a laboratory setting” by staging a series of desert constructions that focus on imbuing quantified data with cultural meaning. The eight-day workshop is open to anyone age 18 or older and will cost between $1350 and $1500 to attend; the program price includes room and board, three meals a day, and all of the necessary construction materials.

Photo of Kyle May Architect’s Extents project

Extents by Kyle May Architect (Daniel Schwartz)

As with the previous iteration of the festival, organizers hope to draw an interdisciplinary group of students that will complement the diverse set of practitioners leading the project.

Project leaders for this year include architects Andrew Kovacs (Office Kovacs), Zeina Koreitem and John May (MILLIØNS), Kyle May (KMA), as well as workshop leaders Alex Braidwood (Listening Instruments), Noémie Despland-Lichtert and Brendan Sullivan Shea (Roundhouse Platform), Lena Pozdnyakova and Eldar Tagi (the2vvo), among others.

According to a press release, program participants will work to undermine the “constructs and apparatuses through which we perceive a place,” investigations that could include questioning how knowledge is produced, manipulating one’s perception of the desert landscape, and creating “new methods for presenting subjective realities.”

The workshop joins an ever-increasing number of arts- and architecture-related events taking place across the desert regions surrounding Los Angeles, including the Desert X art biennial, the High Desert Test Sites program, and the Coachella Arts and Music festival.

For a collection of last year’s projects, see the Space Saloon website. Applications for the program will be accepted through April with the workshops taking place in California’s Morongo Valley between May 25 and June 1, 2019.

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