If you’re in DUMBO this week and catch a glimpse of a shirtless man hanging off a tree, don’t freak out. VAMOS Architects has curated an installation of photographer Robert Holden’s series The Treehouse, as part of New York Photography Week. The large-scale photographs depict semi-nude members of a rainforest commune, set against industrial buildings, rooftops, and scaffolding in DUMBO. The series is meant to let New Yorkers contemplate an alternative lifestyle, according to the artist’s statement. “It shows a commitment to live a life away from chaos, from monetization and find happiness carrying our existence where the highest value is not money or objects that define our status and class,” writes the website Yatzer, which declares that Holden’s subjective documentary approach “makes us reserve an immediate ticket through Kayak.” The Treehouse consists of 49 photographs tucked away in dark alleyways and splashed onto the sides of tall buildings. VAMOS worked with over 20 entities, including Brooklyn Bridge Park, Two Trees Management, St Ann’s Warehouse and Powerhouse books, to get permissions for the installation. The series is on view through May 31, 2011. Upon closing, the installation, which was designed to be zero-impact, will be disassembled and donated to other art projects and schools. "Sometimes architecture is not about building," said Evan Bennett, principal of VAMOS. "We hope the installation's brief life in the neighborhood inspires people to experience their place in the city in new and thoughtful ways."
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DesigNYC, an organization that pairs nonprofits with designers, has announced its matches for the coming year. The teams applied individually for consideration last fall and were selected by a jury drawn from desigNYC's leadership (a high-powered group of New York-based architects, designers and thinkers--check out the list here). Yesterday the new crop of designers, who offer their services pro bono, met their designated nonprofits and designNYC advisors at a kick-off event at the Art Director's Club in Manhattan. Evan Bennett and Silvia Fuster, principals at Vamos Architects in Brooklyn, were charged up post meet-and-greet. "We feel fortunate to be working within an infrastructure of such experienced advisors who have set very high standards for design and professionalism. As a young office, that's really valuable to us," said Bennett. Next week Vamos will have their first meeting with their desigNYC partner, Nostrand Park, to begin work on a "pop-up plaza" intended to enliven a historic section of the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. Lisa Green of Selldorf Architects will be the project's desigNYC advisor. Other firms selected for 2011 collaborations include communication designer Rodrigo Corral, Abruzzo Bodiak Architects, Fogelson-Lubliner, OttoNY, 590BC with Studio L'Image, Language Department, architects Fink & Platt, and Publicis. View their desigNYC partners here. DesigNYC launched in 2010 with a stated mission to improve the lives of New Yorkers through design. Its first year desigNYC matched 12 organizations with 16 designers, and the collaborations have already yielded some impressive results on a range of scales, from Rooster Design Group's design of a guide to green living for the New York City Housing Authority to Robin Key Landscape Architect's Intergenerational Garden at Serviam Gardens, an affordable housing development in the Bronx.