Posts tagged with "Installations":

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MVRDV’s The Stairs celebrates the 75 year anniversary of post-war reconstruction in Rotterdam

Yesterday Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Mayor of Rotterdam, opened MVRDV's The Stairs project to the public in commemoration of the 75 year anniversary of the reconstruction of Rotterdam after World War II. The Dutch firm, who are from Rotterdam themselves, placed 180 steps traveling up from just outside Rotterdam's railway station to the rooftop of the Groot Handelsgebouw—one of the city's first post-war buildings and cherished landmark. On its inauguration, the installation (free to the public) attracted some 7,850 stair-faring visitors and will stay open until June 12. Coinciding with the project, a month of activities will include film screenings, debates, and art events at the Kriterion Cinema which will reopen especially for the event. Rising some 95 feet, the structure—comprised almost entirely from scaffolding assembled by Dutch company Steigers—includes a viewing platform at the top where people can take in expansive and often unseen views of Rotterdam. Responding to the impressive angular facade of Rotterdam Central Station, the scaffolding also explicitly references the city's reconstruction through material and its attachment to a post-war icon. “The stairs are a symbolic first step towards a better use of our city’s second layer, and ideally would be replaced with a set of escalators in the next step,” said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas in a press release. “It is, in this way, a second reconstruction, a 'Tweederopbouw,' that gives access to, activates and connects the rooftops of Rotterdam.” For climbers in need of refueling and for those who just want to watch others struggle, The Lucht Cafe will provide refreshments while also offering an exhibition showcasing the future of the city. The exhibit will look at how rooftops interact with the cityscape and how new public spaces can establish connections between them. “With this installation and in our exhibition we show what this city could look like if we do that in many places, engaging a series of our existing buildings and giving access to their roofs, to create a new, much more interactive, three dimensional and denser urban topography for the next city generation,” added Maas.
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SPORTS announced as designers of the 2016 Ragdale Ring

SPORTS is a design collaboration between architects Greg Corso and Molly Hunker, both faculty at the Syracuse University School of Architecture. The Adrian Smith Prize is awarded each year to a young design firm to build the Ragdale Ring, and outdoor performance space for the 50-acre Ragdale campus north of Chicago. SPORTS will receive a $15,000 production grant and a ten person residency for up to three weeks, starting May 23. SPORTS’s design, entitled Rounds, was selected by a jury of architects and artists. Comprised of an undulating circular ribbon, Rounds will be the site of public performance and garden party on June 9th. The rises and runs of the ribbon will act as the seating, stages, entries, and a space for the Ragdale community to gather throughout the summer. The original Ragdale Ring was designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1912 as an open air theater for his playwright wife. Since 2013 Ragdale has re-imagined the Ring through an annual international competition. Ragdale specifically looks for designs that “explore intersections of architecture, sculpture, landscape, design, public art, and performance disciplines.” “I am proud to support the Ragdale Ring competition which uniquely serves the field of architecture and dynamically engages the public. Rounds is an exceptional design solution and I look forward to its successful construction and use,” remarked prize sponsor and jury member, Adrian Smith in this year’s announcement. Ragdale offers upwards of 200 residencies and fellowships annually at their campus in Lake Forest, IL, just north of Chicago. At any given time 13 artist are in residency working uninterrupted for weeks at a time. While SPORTS is in residency they will take part in nightly family style dinners, and have full access to the campuses 50 acres of prairie.
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On View> School of the Art Institute holds first design symposium

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Architecture Interior Architecture and Designed Objects department will be holding their first four day design symposium this week from March 8th – March 11th. The symposium, entitled Human Resources, is part of SAIC's spring Mitchell Lecture Series, and is organized by visiting faculty Ann Lui, Eric Ellingsen, Sam Stewart-Halevy, and Sara Huston. Over the four day period they will each be holding lectures and discussions, as well as engaging with a handful of artist and architects. Other participants include, Nico Dockx, Lydia Kallipoliti, Matthew Jesse Jackson, Joseph Grigley, Melissa Orlie, John Paananen, Stuart Sim, Bess Williamson, Aneesh Aneesh, Hannah Frank, Asha Schechter, Markus Miessen, Mitch McEwen, Mechtild Widrich, and Craig Reschke. “The title of the event Human Resources is a way of pulling together group of events that are all looking into, on one hand, the instrumentality of our resources as humans, but also the limitations of what we can accomplish with those resources.” Jonathan Solomon, director of AIADO explained to AN. Each day over the course of the week, teams will present work and discuss topics ranging from architectural pedagogy to contemporary modes of architectural production. Presentations with titles such as Globaloney: How the Sausage is Made will discuss systems of global production. Another Confessions from the Anthropocene looks at the role of design in global environmental crisis. “I see it as a continued investigation into some of the issues that were at play in the department in the fall, and have been for some time,” said Jonathan Solomon. “Around issues in design in a post-growth economy, the role of design in a closed system, as opposed to an open system, and the relationship of design to disciplinarity.” Some discussions will be in and around purpose built installations. On the final day, Chicago-based Future Firm will install “The Uncomfortableness of Getting Into Bed with Others,” an installation they describe as a “participatory” architectural intervention. Design practice The Last Attempt at Greatness will also be producing an installation for the event. “This is absolutely an experiment, just as our show in the fall Outside Design was an experiment,” Solomon explained “We will have a spring show called The Design Show, of graduate work, which will give students opportunity to participate in that kind of experimentation. Outcomes aren’t fixed, and that’s exciting.” Human Resources will be held as SAIC’s LeRoy Neiman Center at 37 S. Wabash Ave Chicago, IL from March 8th-11th.
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Review> Jonathan Louie’s Big Will and Friends created visual delight with graphic wallpaper

ON VIEW - BIG WILL AND FRIENDS 01 Wallpaper is no longer the enhancement of choice in most contemporary domestic environments, but it emerges as the focal point of a recent installation in Syracuse, New York, designed by Jonathan Louie. ON VIEW - BIG WILL AND FRIENDS 02 The exhibition at the Roger Mack Gallery in the Shaffer Art Building at Syracuse University closed February 18th. Big Will and Friends was comprised of a 21-foot by 7-foot shotgun-style house tightly wrapped in scrim. The white scrim has been ornamented with an abstracted Morris & Co. wallpaper pattern—“Thistle,” designed by John Henry Dearle. The structure is constructed with PVC piping and custom-designed, three-dimensionally printed fittings. Adjacent to its long edge, the graphic adornment slipped off of the scrim envelope onto the floor and climbed up the neighboring gallery wall. This created an immersive, narrow corridor where visitors were enveloped in a heterogeneous tiling of the obscured and screened thistle arrangement. Louie’s particular abstraction of the Morris & Co. wallpaper balanced the mechanical with the manual, a strategy employed by William Morris in his early designs, where intricacy and elaboration were used to disguise repetition. ON VIEW - BIG WILL AND FRIENDS 03 “Since its domestic popularization, wallpaper design has leaned on its’ mechanistic structure and optical devices found in art practice: from the Flat Pattern to Visual Deceit to Forced Perspective; casting aside the material honesty of the wall for sham and show,” Louie claimed. In Big Will and Friends, the application amplified the ability for wallpaper to produce an aesthetic experience through its visual deceit. Louie’s installation maintained the decorative aspect of the conventional application of wallpaper, but reimagined this architectural element as a more ethereal and diaphanous material that produces a sensation of indeterminate depth and leads viewers to question the thickness and even the presence of the material. Of significance is the absolute legibility of the typical house form, used not only to host the featured element, but also to remind the viewer of the relationship between wallpaper and the domestic environment. The three-dimensional figure that comprises Big Will and Friends played into a larger generational interest in figural form where association to an external symbol—in this case, the single-family home—is prioritized over celebration of formal technique or material expression, and where graphic immediacy is privileged over prolonged and difficult visual access. ON VIEW - BIG WILL AND FRIENDS 04 Big Will and Friends is part of a larger body of research being developed by Jonathan Louie that explores the ability for conventional architectural elements to, through their reinterpretation and imagination, alter the visual experience of domestic environments and “flavor” our social relations. This body of research calls on architects to “embrace the temporal qualities of domestic decor that value appearance over substance, and the ephemeral over the secure and lasting.” Cumulatively, Louie’s work links art, architecture, and pop culture to suggest novel assemblies of conventional materials and everyday images. Jonathan Louie is an assistant professor within the School of Architecture at Syracuse University and co-director of Architecture Office. Louie recently took up residency in Peterborough, NH, as a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Big Will and Friends was made possible by generous support from the MacDowell Colony, Syracuse University School of Architecture, and Syracuse University College of Visual Performing Arts. Exhibition Design: Jonathan Louie with Gabriel Boyajian and Nicolas Carmona Installation Team: Staci Bobbi, Gabriel Boyajian, Chen Jung Kuo, Tom Arleo, Sarah Beaudoin, Scott Krabath, John Mikesh, and Trey Gegenfu Photography: Ioana Georgeta Turcan Video: Adam Greenberg Choreography: Stephanie White Music: “Bowspirit” by Balmorhea
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This 3D topographic installation raises questions on the high cost of housing in New York City

Besides the overcrowded L and the overabundance of Starbucks/Chase Banks, one of New York's favorite things to kvetch about is the rent: it's too damn high. Now, through Wage Island, an installation created by a New York–based interaction and information designer, it's possible to see in 3D how much housing really costs in this city. https://vimeo.com/138549946 Ekene Ijeoma's Wage Islands sprang from the designer's conversations with Fast Food Forward, a labor advocacy organization that's pushing for a higher minimum wage for fast food workers. Compelled by the group's commentary on how difficult it is for minimum wage workers to pay for housing, Ijeoma put his designer's training to work, correlating median monthly housing costs of each neighborhood with the amount one would have to earn to afford to live there. "This created a poetic way of creating empathy between minimum wage workers and citizens they serve; making the issue about everyone," Ijeoma mused. He collaborated with a team of six to execute the GIS modeling of New York City, design and build the model, and program the Arduino board that controls the islands' topography. Wage Islands was commissioned for Measure, the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s exhibition that ran from August 14 through September 19, 2015. The map's elevations are comprised of over 500 pieces of laser-cut acrylic. Elevations are derived from median monthly housing costs in different neighborhoods, with $271 on the low end and $4,001 at the top. The islands are situated in a tray filled with blue-black water. The user can adjust the amount of water in the box by scaling wages up from the city minimum of $8.75 per hour to a high of $77 per hour. The tallest peaks represent the most affordable neighborhoods; those who make at least $77 per hour have the luxury to choose Manhattan's tony Tribeca or Brooklyn's Brownsville, one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Precision, and reflection on the real world factors that go into determining affordability, is scuttled in favor of highly evocative representation. New York is a renter's city: Less than a third of residents own their own homes. When asked what data was used to gauge median rents, Ijeoma explained that "this was more about looking at New York City together and not separating the different neighborhoods and people from the larger issue." He used the American Community Survey's (ACS) median monthly housing costs as a stand-in for median rents, although ACS data covers both housing costs incurred by homeowners and renters. 69 percent of New Yorkers rent, not own, so the choice to rely on this ACS dataset is unclear. The American Housing Survey, however, has fine-grained data on renters for major metro areas.)

Like Fannie and Freddie, Ijeoma pegs affordability to spending no more than 30 percent of one's income on housing. That's sensible advice, but more than half of New Yorkers are, by this measure, rent burdened, spending over 30 percent of their income on rent.

Affordability guidelines are generally broken down by the number of bedrooms per unit as a proxy for household size. Instead of looking at average rents across neighborhoods, or rents for units of one particular size, Ijeoma dismissed those nuances as irrelevant for this project, as "[the data] would've more or less looked the same because of the geo-spatial interpolation and translation into 3D."

Currently, Ijeoma is doing a stint at Orbital as a designer-in-residence, where he's working on a mapping project that covers a broader swath of America, as well as a project that addresses social media–engaged phone-zombies who blunder through the streets of New York.
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Bach to the Future: Gabriel Calatrava creates malleable architecture for “The Art of the Fugue”

Like cheese and crackers, music and architecture is a natural pairing. Last November, Steven Holl debuted his ballet, Tesseracts of Time. This year is shaping up to be a promising one for synergy between the two practices: A Marvelous Orderthe opera based on Jane Jacobs' and Robert Moses' epic feud, is in previews this March, and last weekend, concertgoers at the 92nd Street Y's "Seeing Music" festival were treated to a Gabriel Calatrava–designed installation that dialogues with Bach's “The Art of the Fugue." The installation, mounted in a 24-foot-by-17-foot frame, is meant to evoke the strings on musical instruments, Bach's fugues, and a game of Cat's Cradle, the children's game played with an endlessly transfigured loop of string. While the Brentano String Quartet performed Bach's piece live, dancers manipulated Calatrava's installation in response to the music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2ePyvNgVJA New shapes, spaces, and patterns are created as the dancers work. “My fascination with moving architecture inspired me to design a set piece that serves as both a work of art and a functional installation that reacts to music,” Calatrava said in a statement. In the video below, he dives into the design process and the challenge of syncing architecture, a medium with material products, to music, tangible but non-physical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsHXd-8p0PE The Calatrava name should be eminently familiar to anyone who follows architecture. The younger Calatrava, trained as an engineer, is now an architect, working on his own and with his father's firm, Santiago Calatrava Architects & Engineers. An affinity for white, sinewy geometries may run in the family: the 92Y piece recalls the elder Calatrava's recently completed Museum of Tomorrow and the soon-to-open World Trade Center Transportation Hub, below. For those interested in checking out more musical pairings, the 92Y’s “Seeing Music” festival runs through February 18.
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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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Design with Company’s pavilion for Airbnb to activate a vacant lot at Design Miami/

The Chicago based Design With Company have been commissioned by Airbnb to design an installation for Design Miami/. Conceived as a large space of familiar building fragments, the so-called belong. here. now. will be an interactive space to be programmed throughout the week-long festival, with performances, events, and exhibitions. Occupying a lot which has never been activated by Design Miami/, across from the main venue, the design incorporates a series of columns, walls, seating areas, and thresholds that invite the public to interact with the project in undefined ways. Design With Company, a team comprising of Allison Newmeyer and Stewart Hicks, is no stranger to instigating impromptu public performance with their work. In their recent project Porch Parade in Vancouver B.C. they built a series of technicolor “front porches” as a stage set of public interaction. belong. here. now. engages with similar motifs evoking scenes of a Roman forum, held in perfect ruin just far enough to be re-imagined for new use. The soft pastel colors bring the project into Miami with a nod and a wink. Design Miami/ will be held in Miami Beach from December 2–6, 2015.
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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Architect builds a shocking pavilion to explore society’s domination of nature

Bochum, Germany is host to Ruhrtriennale, a six week art festival which opened last weekend and gave Joep van Lieshout of Atelier van Lieshout a chance to create his biggest—and most shocking—work to date. In a place that, according to the exhibition's website, is "for everyone who is curious," Ruhrtriennale exhibits the Domestikator which aims to explore society's role with nature. The project explores domestication and domination from an ethical perspective, and, as the not-so-subtle sculptural reference to beastiality demonstrates, how boundaries can be crossed during this process. Domestikator also touches on man's relationship with technology, hinting that society itself is being domesticated by technologically driven systems. Van Lieshout further revisits themes such as utopia, dystopia, idealism, power, religion and love as part of an ongoing series called New Tribal Labyrinth which can be seen in previous projects such as The Farm, Hagioscoop, and the Saw Mill/Cheese Maker. The series tenders a dystopian, post-nuclear-fallout-like future whereby imaginary tribes return to basic agricultural and industrial ways of life with the Domestikator acting as a religious temple for the masses. New artistic director Johan Simons says van Lieshout's installation will "create a lively and aesthetically chaotic place for for artists, festival makers, visitors and everyone who is simply curious." Tickets and information on the event can be found on the Ruhrtriennale website. https://instagram.com/p/5nMF14QbCl/ https://instagram.com/p/5nMF14QbCl/
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Finalists in SXSW Eco’s Place by Design competition seek to elevate public space through design

SXSW Eco's Place by Design (PxD) competition recently announced an ambitious list of finalist projects. Each design represents the competition's belief in the impact of quality design and the utilization of space to develop the interactive relationship between people and place.   "The Place by Design Finalists envision public space as something greater than a backdrop for human activity," the SXSW Eco website explains. "These projects push everyday places to become an integral part of a community and a force for social, economic and environmental change." The finalists fall into five categories—Art + Interaction, Data + Tech, Resilience, Social Impact, and Urban Strategy. Each is composed of a centralized theme that integrates a responsive environment. One of the projects, presented by Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat, showcases musical swings activated by playground enthusiasts all of ages. When all swings are used, it creates a harmonious tune that promotes community engagement and invites singing swingers everywhere. Another project, Ribbon Gardens, aims to address food scarcity in food deserts. Ribbon Gardens, made through a "customized, easy to assemble kit of parts" to create "functional food production areas." "Design profoundly shapes how we interact with and care for the places we inhabit," the Place by Design competition page states. "Good design fosters vibrant, well-maintained communities, while poor design can lead to fractured urban landscapes that lack a sense of place." The Place by Design finalists will present their projects at the SXSW Eco on October 5th through the 7th at the Austin Convention Center. View a full list of finalists on the Place by Design website.
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Four Boston design firms fill the Rose Kennedy Greenway with art at the intersection of architecture

Through September 25th, emerging architects and designers are being celebrated in Boston's 4th Design Biennial. The program features installations, created by four, jury-chosen design firms, exhibited along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. “This fourth installment of the Biennial highlights emerging designers who reflect the diversity and vitality of Boston’s academic and professional architectural scenes,” explained Chris Grimley, one of the exhibition’s curators. “At a time when the mayor has brought forth much-needed questions about the quality of buildings being produced in the city, the Biennial demonstrates how Boston’s new design talent can be drawn on for its innovative thinking and ability to respond to the challenges we will face in the future.” Over the years, 23 winners have had the privilege of showcasing their work in the event, which represents Boston's finest up-and-coming designers and architects. Among the winners from this year's Biennial are GLD Architecture, MASS Design Group, Cristina Parreño Architecture, and Landing Studio. Each design firm created site specific installations that are sure to make a typical walk along the highway-topping park an atypical one. Made from eight Boston Harbor shipyard recycled oak pilings, Marginal by Landing Studio (pictured at top) calls on a nautical New England from its industrial shipping era. This 18-figured installation was sliced into more than a thousand 2-inch thick cross-section pieces. Each piece is divided into three types—Rounds, Chewies (ends slightly chipped and chomped away), and oblongs—then stacked to form this totem pole–styled installation. GLD created a softer, almost dreamlike piece. What appears to be a cross-pollination between a mushroom and a massive jellyfish, the Grove is a fused resin and fiberglass shell that is said to create a "strangely intimate new enclosure in an open public landscape," as stated on the Boston Biennial's website. Other installations include Cristina Parreño's Tectonics of Transparency: The Tower, a 17 foot installation composed of 350 compressed glass blocks resembling a mini skyscraper and MASS Design Group's Lo-Fab, which is made of more than a thousand wood and metal components that transform into a geodesic hemisphere serving as an impressive gathering space. Learn more about the Design Biennial Boston on its website.
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Last year a labyrinth, now a giant ball pit: National Building Museum hosts indoor beach in its Great Hall

The magnificent, four-story Great Hall of the National Building Museum is now a site for executing cannonballs, rolling on the floor laughing, and other acts of gleeful revelry. A giant ball pit filled with recyclable translucent plastic orbs cuts between the colossal Corinthian columns, bounded by an enclosure made from scaffolding, wooden panels, and perforated mesh all painted stark white. A mirrored wall at one end creates the illusion of an unending abyss of translucent orbs. Bordering the enclosure is a 50-foot “shoreline,” filled with umbrellas and monochromatic beach chairs for lounging in the sunshine that filters through the window-laden ceiling four stories above. Adults can recline on “dry” land with a book, play paddleball, or have a drink at the snack bar. The installation, titled The BEACH was dreamed up by Brooklyn-based design firm Snarkitecture, which bills it as “an exciting opportunity to create an architectural installation that reimagines the qualities and possibilities of material, encourages exploration and interaction with one’s surroundings, and offers an unexpected and memorable landscape for visitors to relax and socialize within.” The fun-fest is part of the National Building Museum’s ‘Summer Block Party’ series, which last year hosted Big Maze by the Bjarke Ingels Group. Visitors wandered through an 18 foot-high maple plywood structure inspired by ancient labyrinths, garden and hedge mazes of 17th and 18th-century Europe and modern American corn mazes.