Two new exhibitions at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) excavate the past and future of New York with a historian's eye for patterns and an urbanist's love of variety. The permanent exhibition, which tries to present New York's entire 400-year history, adheres to the platonic ideal of the 19th-century museum with forward-thinking updates that open up the urban encyclopedia for perspectives on the city of the future. New York at Its Core occupies three galleries—the whole first floor—divided chronologically and organized around the themes of money, density, diversity, and creativity to reveal the city's essential qualities and explain its changes. Although featured artifacts anchor the historical galleries—Port City, 1609-1898 and World City, 1898-2012—the exhibition, part of MCNY's ten-year, $100 million renovation, is a multimedia bonanza that uses digital representation to both immerse visitors in the past and visualize the Gotham to come. Your correspondent is wall text's #1 fan and one of the world's slowest museum-goers. Via immersive visuals like a colorized floor-to-ceiling projection of Mulberry Street around 1900 and touch-screen "learn more" graphics that highlight New Yorkers famous and obscure, Port City and World City gratify a pendant's desire to learn as much as possible about New York's development, but the cheerfully packed graphics and 400-plus artifacts will provide a quick review for the less patient. The exhibition was designed by New York–based Studio Joseph while Local Projects executed the media and playful UX design. Pentagram was responsible for the graphic design throughout. A spatial thread, Mapping New York, links changes in the city's land use to cultural and political changes through the three galleries. That element gets its biggest expression in the third and thrilling Future City Lab, a suite of interactive virtual-reality installations that open up questions around the challenges of an ever-growing city. Facing the entrance, the digital map overlays almost 100 maps to document the present and peer into the future (up until 2050). "Our philosophy past and present is that New Yorkers' actions shape the city," said Jake Barton, founding principal of Local Projects. Actions on a screen count, too: Visitors are invited to explore the intersectional problems of housing, transportation, outdoor space, living together, and getting by in New York through SimCity-like games that amuse and edify. In the housing section, visitors can construct an apartment building from one of the five boroughs to create a structure based on context, budget impact, and sustainability—the very real factors architects and developers consider when building in the city. Your corresponded saw a visitor create an eight-story Morris Adjmi–esque condo in East Harlem with large units, subtract volume to make a ziggurat, add trees to the terraces, and put a seniors' disco (programming) all along the third floor. Aside from housing, the outdoorsy can redesign a street or create a park. This reporter made a Manhattan waterfront recreation area that scored major points on biodiversity and flood mitigation for its oyster beds and native grasses, but went over-budget with a floating pool, public art, windmills, and a skatepark. A video of the final product (below) is projected onto a wall-sized screen in the museum for all to admire or make fun of: Each of the five themes is complemented by street photography from Joseph Michael Lopez. For metadata nerds who desire transparency, the curators set up the Data Nook, a cozy display that offers insight into how and why the exhibition's statistics were chosen and represented. After the joy of the lab, it would be a mistake to stop exploring. Upstairs, a second and thematically compatible exhibition, Mastering the Metropolis: New York City and Zoning, 1916-2016, delves into the city's zoning code on its centennial. The show injects brio and vitality into the rules—which, in today's iteration, fill three thick binders—that both govern building in New York and shed light on how ideas for the "ideal metropolis" have evolved. New York is New York because of tightly packed millions that generate wealth and art as well as explosive tensions over light and air that major code revisions in 1961 and this year have addressed. New York–based Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) built models that visualize urban planners' favorite acronym, Floor-Area Ratio (FAR), and show how the FAR allowance from nine lots, for example, was used to assemble air rights for Rafael Viñoly's cloudbusting 432 Park Avenue. while the exhibition explains a just-added suite of requirements on height and setbacks, plus affordable the new housing legislation.
Posts tagged with "Local Projects":
After a three year absence, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is set to reopen on December 12. The nation's design museum has been active in the interim, staging off site exhibitions, hosting workshops and classes, and bestowing honors to the nation's best designers, but its full return to New York's cultural landscape is much anticipated. A large group of top tier designers has contributed to the museum's renovation, expansion, and rethinking of how it displays the objects and processes of design, including Gluckman Mayner Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Pentagram, Beyer Blinder Belle, Local Projects, and Thinc Design. The museum reorganized staff areas and moved offices into adjacent townhouses to create new galleries in the landmark Carnegie mansion's third floor, among many other alterations. Here is a sneak peak of some of the reinstalled galleries. Welcome back, Cooper-Hewitt!
Acting director Caroline Baumann of The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has announced the winners of the 2013 National Design Awards. The 14th annual Awards program continues the practice of acknowledging excellence and innovation across an array of disciplines. This year’s winners will be recognized during a gala dinner on Thursday, October 17 at New York’s Pier 60 in conjunction with National Design Week, where they will be presented with trophies created by The Corning Museum of Glass. This year’s Lifetime Achievement award recipient is James Wines, founder and president of New York-based architectural studio SITE, who addresses context and environmental issues in his designs. Another big winner is Michael Sorkin, who claims the Design Mind prize for his work in urbanism and green architecture. TED—the nonprofit organization devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading"—has been selected for the Corporate and Institutional Achievement prize. For its site-specific projects that act as responses to contemporary issues, Studio Gang Architects-principal Jeanne Gang wins the Architecture Design award. Petragram principal Paula Scher takes the stage as the Communication Design award recipient. Bloomberg, Citibank, and MoMA are just a few on her impressive list of clients. Fashion Design winner Behnaz Sarafpour implements organically produced pieces in her high-fashion and affordably-priced collection. Media design firm Local Project is the Interaction Design award recipient and the Interior Design award goes to Aidlin Darling Design. Margie Ruddick, who employs an environmental approach to urban landscape design, is the Landscape Architecture category winner. The Product Design award recipient is NewDealDesign, a San Francisco-based multidisciplinary firm. This year's jury includes Charles Adler, Gail Anderson, Gisue Hariri, Jon Kolko, Thom Mayne, Zoë Ryan, Christine Ten Eyck, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, and Gianfranco Zaccai. The 2013 winners "have made a major impact in their respective fields through groundbreaking projects and visionary ideas," Baumann said in a statement. "They have truly transformed the way we live, think, work, and communicate with each other."
Design studio Diller Scofidio+Renfro (DS+R) has certainly had a very good week. As we noted yesterday, the firm’s designs for the Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building in Washington Heights have just been released, and now today, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has announced that DS+R will be working with museum staff on the redesign of the museum’s exhibition spaces that are currently under renovation on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The Cooper-Hewitt closed last July for an extensive, two-year face lift and is currently undergoing an extensive reprogramming that will increase the amount of exhibition space by 60 percent and rearrange the institution's functional divisions. Gluckman Mayner Architects, with executive architects Beyer Blinder Belle are responsible for the restoration and renovation of the institution's historic Andrew Carnegie Mansion and two adjoining row houses on 90th Street and Fifth Avenue. While the buildings are reprogrammed and historic features preserved, DS+R will be responsible for designing the new exhibitions contained in those spaces. Along with media designer Local Projects, DS+R is responsible for the visitor’s experience in both the permanent exhibition rooms on the first floor and the temporary exhibition spaces on the second and third floors. At this point in the process, neither the collaboration between Local Projects, DS+R, and the Cooper-Hewitt, nor the scope of the final product, has been decided. Stay tuned to AN for updates on the new exhibition spaces as they emerge.