Posts tagged with "Beaux Arts Ball":

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In El Paso, architects explore border politics through a temporary installation in a bus depot

To architect Ersela Kripa, "borders are much thicker than we imagine." She and her partner Stephen Mueller (AGENCY) are building on the strong legacy of theory and practice at the US-Mexico border with their students at Texas Tech University El Paso. This fall, students produced FLASH Installation: Architecture at Rush Hour, a daylong "tactical occupation" of an underused bus terminal at the El Paso/Juárez border.  On a map, the US-Mexico border is easy to depict and define. Its implications, however, run deeper and elude precise definition. In Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Chicana writer, activist, and cultural theorist Gloria Anzaldúa muses on the border's many meanings:
"Borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition."
Juárez and El Paso form a binational metropolis. When Kripa and Mueller arrived in Texas this September to teach at TTU-El Paso, they were intent on engaging with the space around them. Housed in an active Amtrak train station, the school's identity is tied to the flow of goods and people across borders. In conversation with AN, Kripa explained that "cross-border issues are a daily way of being" for her students. In her and Mueller's fall studios, students range in age from 20–50, and many work full time in addition to their studies. Around 30 percent of students cross the border every day for school. TTU-El Paso hopes to grow its architecture program around critical engagement with border culture. To that end, TTU-El Paso staged its third Beaux Arts Ball in October. To accommodate attendees, food trucks, and a dance floor, a lightly used bus parking lot was selected for the venue. The theme: "being reflective." Student volunteers erected FLASH Installation: Architecture at Rush Hour to provide a light-filled canopy for the ball and spark conversation around the heavily policed, yet highly porous, border. Apache Barricade & Sign, a local, woman-owned company, lent the studio 256 brand-new, orange reflective traffic barrels for one day. Students spent eight hours rigging them to the bus station's ceiling in a 16 by 16 configuration at varying heights. Below, an installation of 300 ground reflectors marked a temporary dance floor on the asphalt. Why traffic barrels? The temporary structures, Kripa explained, are a "spatial manifestation of a politics of directing flow. It's an extension of politics—infrastructure that enacts the law." The impermanent pieces of transit infrastructure underscore the permanence of the (now redundant) bus canopy. Socially engaged work is the status quo for Kripa and Mueller (hence the name of the interdisciplinary practice they co-founded in 2006). The pair won the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome in 2010. While in Rome, Kripa and Mueller studied the forced movement of the Romani, addressing the Romani's housing crisis amid a city of overlapping networks, real and imagined. The pair hope to re-activate the bus depot annually with their students. "As architects are not only interested in making beautiful space, we at AGENCY feel profound obligation to expose what's happening. We [architects] are well equipped to uncover inequality and injustice." See the gallery below for more images of the installation.  
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Pictorial-ism> Photos from the Architecture League's 2013 Beaux Arts Ball

On Saturday night, New York's architecture community gathered in Manhattan's historic 69th Regiment Armory  to celebrate the Architectural League of New York on the centennial of the original 1913 Armory Show. The sold out party welcomed 1,350 design-minded revelers dressed as their favorite "–ism," the theme of this year's event, representing everything from surrealism, revivalism, Dadaism, classicism, and brutalism. In all, over $100,000 was raised for the League. SITU Studio designed an installation to bring scale to the cavernous armory space, working with Renfro Design Group on an integrated lighting scheme. A series of white fabric prisms were suspended from the ceiling, serving to humanize the space while providing an armature for digital projections. Pulsing music built excitement throughout the night, which culminated in a procession of giant vellum marionettes, each controlled by a team of three performance artists, and a troupe of vellum-clad artists wandering through the armory, encouraging attendees to dance. Photos by Fran Parente.
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What's Your -Ism? Tickets on Sale for Arch League's 2013 Beaux Arts Ball

In 1913, the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan hosted what was then considered the most shocking art exhibition the public had ever seen. The International Exhibition of Modern Art, which came to be called The Armory Show, introduced modern European art to an East Coast audience. A showcase of -ism art movements then in development and exploration by artists now considered masters of their craft, the event was transgressive; it induced backlash from several publications and from former President Theodore Roosevelt who commented that “the lunatic fringe was fully in evidence.” Yet, even in his blatant dislike of the artworks displayed, President Roosevelt admitted the importance of the show’s existence, its revelation of the European “art forces that cannot be ignored.” This Saturday, September 28, in a centennial homage of the show that shocked the American world, the Architectural League of New York is hosting their annual Beaux Arts Ball in the same venue. Taking inspiration from a space originally meant for National Guard trainings and military activities, the ball will work with and within the great hall to transform its appearance, shockingly. (And tickets are on sale now!) Designed in 1903 by the architecture competition-winning firm Hunt & Hunt, the 69th Regiment Armory reflects the Beaux Arts style, featuring a sweeping hall with exposed interior structure and a symmetrical brick façade covering its exterior. According to Situ Studio, the environment created for Arch League’s 2013 Beaux Arts Ball will feature “an array of tensegrity structures that will rise above and dip below and existing cable grid datum 20 feet overhead.” This array includes an artistic matrix of sculptural, yet lightweight, fabric shapes that will float above partygoers. Accompanied by responsive lighting by Renfro Design Group, a performance of huge Processional Arts Workshop puppets, and sound installation by Nathan Halpern, the event will recreate the 28,000 square feet civic space as a completely different environment, a modern version of the inflammatory Armory Show that transpired there a century ago. Celebrate your favorite -ism at the party of the year. The Architectural League of New York’s 2013 Beaux Arts Ball September 28, 2013 9:00PM - 1:00AM 69th Regiment Armory at Lexington Avenue New York City For tickets, go to: Beaux Arts Ball 2013 - Design Preview from Situ Studio on Vimeo.
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Save Your Best Moves for Beaux Arts Ball 2012

The Architectural League of New York has recently announced the theme and location of it's annual Beaux Arts Ball for 2012.  The event itself will be held on Saturday, September 22, in the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Downtown Brooklyn. Emerging architects SOFTlab will be in charge of realizing this year's theme, "Tender," within the space. Recognized as one of the premier annual gatherings of the architectural and design community in New York, the Beaux Arts ball typically attracts over 1,000 architects, designers, artists, and friends annually. First held in New York City in 1913 by the Society of Beaux Arts, the gathering was revived in 1990 by The Architectural League to benefit its ongoing architecture and design programs, including lectures, exhibitions, and publications. As an icon of the Brooklyn skyline, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank is sure to wow guests and be remembered as yet another architecturally significant venue. The festivities will take place underneath the 63-foot high ceilings of it's former banking hall and architects from design studio SOFTlab in collaboration with Natasha Jen of Pentagram will design the space for the evenings festivities. The theme, "Tender," with it's multiple interpretations as noun, verb, and adjective will shape their design. Tickets for this event can be purchased in advance at and at the door that evening.
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An Urban Design Week Round-Up

Following Thursday evening's Urban Design Week (UDW) launch party hosted by the Institute for Urban Design (IfUD) at the breezy BMW Guggenheim Lab, the AN team dispersed to check out various events on the jam-packed UDW roster. We compiled our notes, and here's a quick sampling of what we saw and heard: Saturday, September 17: A small contingent of planners, landscape architects, and artists met up at Montefiore Park, a tiny triangle of a plaza at 137th Street where Broadway slices through Manhattan's orderly grid. The group was invited to offer feedback on an installation at the site entitled Broadway: 1000 Steps. The interactive piece by Mary Miss (and CaLL) is an experiment in educating the public on environmental issues through artwork. A collection of periscope-like tubes and mirrors confront passersby with stats on sustainability initiatives in the city. Keep your eyes peeled—the piece will work its way down Broadway over the course of the next few months. Later Saturday evening, the Beaux Arts Ball sponsored by the Architectural League of New York was held at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Les beaux et belles were transported to the site by ferry (or, if they lived in Brooklyn, via the R train). The Cass Gilbert-designed concrete industrial building was bathed in light and shown to great effect with projections and custom furniture designed by Leong Leong as revelers danced the night away. Sunday, September 18: Sunday's City Sessions event at Parson's The New School was a lively debate marking the culmination of a month of online conversations sponsored by IfUD and Leagues and Legions—a group defining itself as "a think tank at the intersection of architecture and publishing." The audience, many of whom were architects and urban planners, was invited to participate in the moderated discussion organized around questions derived from four themes related to "the practice of tactical urbanism and socially active design": Public, Evaluation, Tactics and the Design Profession, and Failure. The provocative questions around each theme ("Is it possible to design for productive failure?") engendered more questions than answers--and one cultural programmer reminded the group that "not everything that happens in the city is urban design"--but the engaged audience armed with examples and beer kept on talking even after the two-hour event had officially ended. Quilian Riano, one of the event's organizers, says he hopes the conversations will continue online and in other media, and hopefully find applications. Check out the City Sessions tumblr. Monday, September 19: As part of Urban Design Week, the recently restored Museum at Eldridge Street in lower Manhattan hosted Good Design New York City, an energetic quick-fire series of presentations by designers with a brief to improve aspects of the city and match designer-makers with pragmatic doers. Taken from 600 issues raised at By The City/For The City competition, the magazine and design initiative, GOOD, asked New York architects and designers including SCAPE, Marpillero Pollak Architects, and Behavior Design, to propose solutions to questions based on the premise: “wouldn't it be great if... ?” Local designers Original Champions of Design (OCD) offered their ideas about how to make New York's subway easier to navigate for regular users and tourists, which included making public station lay-outs; graphic interventions, and a First Car concept to create a souvenir-filled tourist-trap carriage that would get the confused out-of-town passengers “out of the way.”After each presentation, Alissa Walker of GOOD mediated a discussion between city officials or related representatives about the viability of the designers' proposals. Tuesday, September 20: Tucked away on a little-known public plaza on Gouveneur Lane in Manhattan's Financial District, a stealthy group of urbanists chatted with merchants from the Street Vendors Project, a membership-based group of more than 1,300 vendors "who are working together to create a vendors’ movement for permanent change," while snacking on delicious tamales sold on site. We spoke with Mustafa, a clothing vendor in Midtown, who told us about the difficulties of street commerce in New York. Representatives from the Design Trust for Public Space and Columbia University's Street Vendor Planning Studio were on hand to discuss what sidewalk vending means to New York and the sense of city. The crowning event of the night, of course, was the U.S. premiere of Urbanized and the associated soiree at the Phaidon book store in Soho. A capacity crowd of young design-types filled the Sunshine Cinema for two showings of the city-themed final segment of Director Gary Hustwit's design trilogy. After two rigorous rounds of applause, Hustwit accepted questions from the crowd ranging from what would Janette Sadik-Khan do? (she was in attendance) to strategies for grassroots activism. Hustwit was feted by the usual suspects over vodka cocktails and a backdrop of iconic books on architecture and design. (Check out the  Urbanized trailer and our Q&A with director Gary Hustwit). Even if you missed all the events of the last week, you can still settle down with the IFUD's new tome The Atlas of Possibility, a 352-page compendium of "all the schemes & dreams that hundreds of New Yorkers and designers around the world shared through the By the City / For the City process," a crowd-sourced competition for urban design interventions (winning entries here.)  
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Architecture Party

Saturday night’s Beaux Arts Ball was a smash! Hundreds of architectural enthusiasts and even the Dosa guy from Washington Square Park trekked to Brooklyn to attend the Architectural League’s annual benefit for their exhibition and lecture programs.Attracting the likes of well-known New York-based architects Calvin Tsao, Karen Fairbanks, and co-chair Andy Bernheimer, along with a slew of designers, critics, writers, like ourselves, and design aficionados, the event at The Old American Can Factory in Gowanus opened its doors for the architecture community to explore the building’s many studios and enjoy an open bar and good company.

The ball took place in the courtyard and buildings of the factory, with studios of local artisans, fabricators, artists, designers, filmmakers, and publishers open for viewing and art making during the early hours of the night. We were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the offices of both new and familiar faces, including Cassim Shepard, Project Director of UrbanOmnibus, John Mangin of Center for Urban Pedagogy, along with designer Lindsey Adleman of Lindsey Adleman Studio.

Lasting late into the steamy Brooklyn night, the evening was filled with everything an architect could possibly need to pull an all-nighter, from music, provided by DJ Chris Annibell/Afrokinetic, and alcohol to late-night eats from street vendors. Who said architects don’t know how to party? 

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Drinks, Dancing, and DIY

The Architectural League's Beaux Arts Ball 2009 this Saturday night has a dress code, but not the kind you might expect. “No stilettos please,” warns the invite, because in addition to the standard drinks and dancing, this ball features a vast factory where guests will be “building, binding, stitching and printing.” The night’s theme is MANUFACTURE, and the venue is Gowanus’ Old American Can Factory, a sprawling 19th-century complex recently repurposed as a working space for creative industries. Some of the artists-in-residence will be on hand inviting guests into their studios and demonstrating how to use the machinery. (“Free materials will be available; feel free to bring your own,” urges the invitation.) It may be hard to picture, but the Architectural League has a strong track record of pulling off art installation/ fancy-dress-ball mashups. Last year’s Beaux Arts Ball boasted giant inflatable bubbles; 2007’s had a mylar lounge and a fog room. And if you’re not feeling industrious, you can always head over to the courtyard for food and drinks, with DJ Chris Annibell/Afrokinetic spinning and Wingspace Theatrical Design lighting the night. Beaux Arts Ball 2009: MANUFACTURE. Saturday, June 6 9:00 PM – 3:00 AM+ (Note: manufacturing space closes at midnight) The Old American Can Factory 232 Third Street at Third Avenue Gowanus, Brooklyn 11215 Tickets are still available, $25-250.