Spain’s explosive building industry was hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008, resulting in an incredible number of unfinished and abandoned construction projects. Photographs documenting these “modern ruins” hang over the center of Unfinished, a new installation at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. Though it details derelict buildings, the exhibition isn’t all financial doom and architectural gloom. The main body of the show highlights 55 extraordinary projects from the last few years that explore new strategies for adapting these neglected structures and building with limited resources. For the designers of these projects, who have learned hard lessons, architecture is something that remains unfinished. Their buildings are designed to evolve and adapt to future uses. They embrace the visible passing of time, rather than building over it. Cleverly adapted from the multi-room Spanish pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, the installation has a spare design and straightforward construction that reflects the resourcefulness of the projects on display. Although the content focuses on Spanish structures, the issues explored in Unfinished are as universal as the installation. As politicians and businesses around the world inevitably repeat the same mistakes that lead to the last crisis, architects will have to more seriously consider how they build and what they build. Ultimately, Unfinished demonstrates the resilience of the discipline. It is, as the curators write, "a validation of innovative and engaged practices that have parsed through the wreckage to find a voice.” Unfinished will be on view until February 8, 2019.
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Wireframes: The History of Architecture Visualization, a show now up at the A+D Museum in Los Angeles, takes a critical look at the role of architectural visualization in the contemporary art world. By featuring an assortment of established and emerging artists who work at the intersection between art and architecture, Wireframes organizes the discipline’s work chronologically to establish its place in the artistic canon. The exhibition and accompanying series of events coincide with the announcement of the CG Architect Awards, which honors excellence in architectural visualization. The prize winners’ work will be celebrated, and the awards will honor artists who incorporate translation, storytelling, and the contextualization of memories with the process of image-making. As the A+D Museum puts it, “we present what the future could hold and question what the past has told us.” Wireframes: The History of Architecture Visualization A+D Museum 900 East 4th Street Los Angeles, California 90013 Through November 25
On a man-made island in East Amsterdam, this isn't your traditional campsite. The so-called Urban Campsite Amsterdam is an open-air exhibition that features 14 publicly accessible installations that can be booked for an evening under the stars. From trampoline roofs and hemispherical windows, each unique shelter is created by a wide array of designers, architects, and artists. Pictured at top is an installation from social design project collective Treehouse Fest or Boomhuttenfest entitled Solid Family. This bone-shaped icosahedron, created by graphic designer Tobias Berg and furniture designer Sander Borsje, is made from recycled materials and is deceptive with its seemingly unaccommodating shape. Surprisingly, it houses 2 queen-sized beds and can lodge up to four people at a time. From a four-person geo-structure to a two-person trampoline. Designer Vince Vijsma' coined Trampotent for his trampoline/tent hybrid that allows for an entertaining fun house and an eclectic gathering space. Exploring the "flux of garbage and its recycling and utilization in architecture and design," Refunc created IBC Shrinkwrap, housing a queen sized bed for two protected by, of course, shrinkwrap. Refunc believes that "creative reuse" is a better alternative to recycling and that there is potential in discarded materials to transform into something extraordinary. The concept behind the exhibit is to allow the public to interact with contemporary art and showcase its ability to transform a barren stretch of underused land into a common ground for tourists and locals. Urban Campsite also eliminates the barrier between a work of art and its audience through the participatory aspect of the campsite, thereby transcending the viewer-art piece relationship. So park the camper for the summer and crash in a spaceship for the night. The installations are available to book through August 31st.
Streets occupy nearly a quarter of New York City's land, however there are limited outdoor spaces to socialize, sit, and enjoy city life outside of parks. As part of an effort to improve the quality of public space for all New Yorkers, the NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) has been developing new public open space by converting underutilized street spaces into pedestrian plazas. With dozens of plazas already open and functioning across the city, the NYCDOT has been looking to polish the new spaces, installing permanent designs, improved benches, and now, specially designed signs to showcase public art. Ten art display cases were on view from May through late August 2013 at Brooklyn’s Willoughby Plaza—one of the city’s first asphalt strips once dedicated to cars and subsequently transformed into a pedestrian space. The signs were part of NYCDOT's Urban Art Program and were part of its inaugural show titled There is no US Without U. The sail-like panels were designed by the NYC-based architectural and urban design firm Architecture Research Office (ARO) and were fabricated by Rhode Island–based custom composite construction leader Goetz Composites. Each panel is composed of three integrated elements: a sail-like field material involving an anti-graffiti coating, beveled panel edges clad in stainless steel, and stainless steel panel bases connecting the panels to the ground. The idea takes inspiration partially from recreational equipment and incorporates materials typically associated with boats. DOT sought a prominent boat builder to collaborate with the design team to create the construction details and assemble the prototype, which was exhibited last year at Bogardus Plaza and Water and Whitehall Plaza. Through an art therapy program at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, veterans created the featured artwork shown on the new display kiosks. The exhibit will now be moved other public spaces around New York City. All images by James Ewing / Courtesy NYCDOT.
The stereotypes of New Yorkers are that they're rude, they only wear black, and they all have therapists. Sanitorium, the first installation of Guggenheim's new program, stillspotting nyc, explores the smorgasborg of therapies that help the city's neurotic residents keep their lives together. The installation is one of many that will take place over the next two years as a part of stillspotting nyc, which explores stillness and quiet in the hectic city. The program enlists architects, designers and composers to transform "still spots" into public tours, events and installations every three to five months. For the first installation, Artist Pedro Reyes transforms the storefront level of One MetroTech in downtown Brooklyn into a temporary clinic in early June. According to the Guggenheim:
In two-hour windows, Sanatorium visitors experience up to three sessions from over a dozen options through meetings with a series of “therapists.” Balancing reality and parody, Sanatorium draws from Gestalt psychology, theater warm-up exercises, Fluxus events, conflict resolution techniques, trust-building games, corporate coaching, psychodrama, and hypnosis.The sessions include Ex-Voto, in which visitors express thanks for a blessing, which an artist will then render into a small painting; Epitaphs, in which a therapist will facilitate the inscription of one’s tombstone; and Gong Pavilion, in which vibrations from nearby gongs are applied to acupuncture points. The venue, a 23-story skyscraper in Brooklyn and former home to Bear Stearns and Keyspan Energy, may strike some as an odd choice for the Guggenheim, but the program is part of a trend to move the museum's Architecture and Urban Studies programming into the city, as is increasingly apparent with BMW Guggenheim Labs and FutureFarmers, which included events at the Gowanus Canal, in the East Village and other offbeat locations.