Urban Movement Design, winner of the 2012 Young Architects Program (YAP) MAXXI in Rome, has reinvented the MAXXI experience by engaging the mind and body with their interactive, summer installation. UNIRE/UNITE responds to the current public health crisis by offering an alternative solution to traditional urban furniture that choreographs exercise and play back into our daily lives. As our world struggles in crisis, Urban Movement Design believes it is imperative that we rethink the way we live and change the disabling, sedentary lifestyles that are currently promoted by our built environment. The New York and Rome-based practice has merged the two disciplines of architecture and movement therapies in an effort to integrate health back into design and promote a greater sense of community. This project is a reflection of their philosophy. Continue after the break to learn more. Urban Movement Design: “All of nature acts according to the law of interconnectedness, but humankind has moved away from this natural law and into an unnatural state of self-interest and isolation.”
Located near the MAXXI piazza, UNIRE/UNITE is fully accessible and inclusive to all. A pathway of recycled rubber leads into an ergonomic seating structure made of CNC routed marine ply and upholstered with an innovative concrete canvas. A variety of body positions and yoga-inspired exercises are integrated into the design, creating the “Infinity System” that is meant to activate, strengthen, cleanse, and balance the mind and body. A series of QR codes are implemented throughout the installation that allow visitors to access information on how to preform these various movements with the help of their smartphone. Additionally, the experience is enhanced with vines and misters that offer shade and coolness during the warm summer days. Although budget cuts forced Urban Movement Design to scale back their original plan, the essence of the project was preserved. In turn, this allowed them to leave a large amount of the MAXXI piazza open for play – an opportunity both children and adults have taken advantage of.
The words “UNIRE/UNITE” are inscribed on the cement ground to remind the visitors overlooking the piazza from the upper floors of the MAXXI the importance of unity. Once the summer session concludes, UNIRE/UNITE will be dismantled and relocated throughout the streets of Rome in an attempt strengthen the relationship between MAXXI and the city. Until then, the installation will continue host Yoga lessons three days a week on its current MAXXI site.
Design: Urban Movement Design: Sarah Gluck, Robyne Kassen, Simone Zbudil Bonatti Collaborators: Anna Maria Zandara, Andrea Ribechini, Daniele Ludovisi, Marta Veltri, Azzurra Galanti, Vincenzo Gagliardi, Daniele Lampis, Emanuela Magnani, Eduardo Marques, Michael Caton, Ilana Judah, Kerim Eken, Ezra Ardolino, Annah Kassen Keep up on the project and Urban Movement Design on their Facebook Page.