SO-IL wins P.S.1 competition


Since 2000, the MoMA and the have been running a competition under their Young Architects Program, inviting each year a group of emerging architects to experiment with new shapes and materials, resulting in a summer installation at the P.S.1.

Interesting projects have come out of this competition, such as the Public Farm (PF1) by Work AC in 2008, and Afterparty by MOS last year. And today, the winning proposal for 2010 has been announced: Pole Dance by Brooklyn based SO-IL (Solid Objectives Idenburg Liu) a practice ran by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu.


Conceived as a participatory environment that reframes the conceptual relationship between humankind and structure, Pole Dance is an interconnected system of poles and bungees whose equilibrium is open to human action and environmental factors. Throughout the courtyard, groups of 25-foot-tall poles on 12 x 12-foot grids connected by bungee cords whose elasticity will cause the poles to gently sway, creating a steady ripple throughout the courtyard space.

To explain this to one of my friends, I used a fabric and a few sharp pencils (so they stick to the fabric, and the eraser in the back sticks to the table) and we started to move it around… I´m pretty sure that the built installation will be very fun to visit. As you can see on the renderings, the net waves around, and touches the soil at the pool in the center, with a few holes that let you pass by.

SO-IL worked with Buro Happold for this structure, and with Sciame for cost analysis, to keep the installation on a $85,000 budget.

After the break, more images and a video from SO-IL’s winning proposal.

Cite: Basulto, David. "SO-IL wins P.S.1 competition" 22 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Or more interesting how a slight variation of the same idea has won the competition for the last, er, four years?

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Beautiful presentation. But I really don’t get the idea. Or maybe I just don’t like it. Sorry.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    super interesting, playful architecture (literally)

    to all the other commentators i have something to say (HATERS) learn to think and understand, not just look

    architecture is not just looks, this concepts and ideas are way more interesting than sanaas

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      uh, there’s really very little to understand with this one, untitled. it’s a tired idea, not even very creatively executed. i’m not sure what you think is interesting or conceptual about it? the dynamism of movement in architecture? because that’s been done before, in ways that did look better. people seem to forget these days that looks is part of architecture, it’s not 100% function. then again, this sadly doesnt even have a practical function either.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    What about the other proposals? It would be great if archdaily could present them altogether. I don’t feel like this project deserves to be a winning entry.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i don’t think that’s the best pruposal, yet we didn’t see any others to judge…anyway, i don’t like it!

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It is quite clear now that the curators of Moma do not take this competition seriously anymore.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    As a general rule it is unwise to use balls in architecture. This, I thought, had been well-established.

    Take for example Semper’s wary evaluation of the architectural relevance of balls: “But my aspiration to raise even the most humble of practical elements to architectural significance does have its limit. Balls, especially large groups of balls and balls that bounce playfully, define the threshold of material element below which serious discourse simply cannot be sustained. Even worse and despite my deep sympathy for the power of chromatics in architecture, colored balls are intolerable.” (Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts; or, Practical Aesthetics, Chapter 4, Section 32.)

    Even earlier Vitruvius cautions: “And by ‘delight’ I don’t mean ‘balls.’” (De architectura.)

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I find it too funny that is used Semper or Vitruvius to criticize
    something that is only a fun temporary facility. It is like use Bergman to criticize Cantinflas….
    Please dont take seriously what is not.
    Relax and smile, will be a good place to spend a summer afternoon

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