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How MoMA PS1 Yap Winner Andrés Jaque Plans to Politicize Water

In the grand tradition of MoMA PS1's Young Architects Program winners, Andrés Jaque's plan for "COSMO" addresses an ecological need through installation architecture. While 2014's "Hy-Fi" by the living explored organic bricks and 2012's "Wendy" by HWKN addressed airborne pollution, Jaque has set his targets on something that is apparently much more political: water. This article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Politics of Water: Andrés Jaque on His 2015 MoMA PS1 YAP Winning Design," examines how Jaque hopes to turn his installation into a political talking point.

At first glance, Bill Gates’s robotic Janicki Omniprocessor and Andrés Jaque’s winning proposal for the 2015 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP) share a similar goal—they each tackle the problem of global water scarcity, which has become exacerbated by climate change, political strife, and a host of other factors. But while the Omniprocessor looks like a cement factory in miniature, Jaque’s project melds its profoundly social objective—to change the way we understand contemporary water infrastructure—to an almost psychedelic aesthetic.  

Andrés Jaque Named 2015 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP) Winner

Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation’s project COSMO has been selected by the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 as winner of Young Architects Program’s (YAP) 16th edition in New York. Scheduled to open in late June, just in time for MoMA PS1’s 2015 Warm Up summer music, COSMO will serve as a “moveable artifact” with a mission to provide clean water for the world’s population. 

“This year’s proposal takes one of the Young Architects Program’s essential requirements - providing a water feature for leisure and fun - and highlights water itself as a scarce resource,” said Pedro Gadanho, Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. “Relying on off-the-shelf components from agro-industrial origin, an exuberant mobile architecture celebrates water-purification processes and turns their intricate visualization into an unusual backdrop for the Warm Up sessions.”

SALES ODDITY by Andrés Jaque, Silver Lion for Research at the Venice Biennale

By the late 1960s, two dynamics were shaping a new urban reality in Italy: on the one hand, TV was heavily influencing Italian society, becoming an intrinsic part of daily life; on the other, the social tension resulting from student protests and accelerated immigration had begun to impact cities in a chaotic way. These dynamics paved the way for Milano Due, a new town on the outskirts of Milan, which promised a new, idyllic type of urbanism.

The complex, although traditional in appearance with its red pitched roofs, put into practice modern concepts: its 2,600 apartments, which had access to amenities for education and entertainment, were arranged around a giant artificial garden/lake and were connected via an elevated circulation system. Below ground, the complex housed the studios of the first private TV channel in Italy, a fact that would shape the lives of the inhabitants of Milano Due and eventually all of Italian society.

This interesting urban phenomena is analyzed by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation in “SALES ODDITY: Milano 2 and the Politics of Direct-to-Home TV Urbanism,” a project that was part of the Monditalia section at the Venice Biennale and was awarded the Silver Lion for the Best Research Project. According to the jury “The project presents critically a fundamental aspect of modern societies: how the power of media occupies other social spaces, both physically and politically. It is based on innovative research combining surveys and interviews with planners and residents and re-appropriation of the mass media language. While based on an Italian case, this issue is present in many international contexts dominated by contemporary technological and neo-liberal cultures.”

Dossier, trailer, and more photos of the project by Miguel de Guzmán, after the break:

SALES ODDITY. Milano 2 and the Politics of Direct-to-Home TV Urbanism
by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation

Andres Jaque/Office for Political Innovation: Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool

In this first solo project by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation in Los Angeles, the architect prepares an exhibition, with a series of architectural case studies based in the city of L.A., in which he problematizes the importance of such cases as places of socialization and community, leaving behind the stereotypes that characterize them as disconnected spaces, symbols of ultra-individuality and comfort.

'Phantom. Mies as Rendered Society' Installation / Andrés Jaque

The “Phantom. Mies as Rendered Society” installation by architect Andrés Jaque will be on display from December 13th until February 28th at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Presented by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation and the Banco Sabadell Foundation, the installation hopes to bring the figure of the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the most important icons of the modernist movement, back into the public eye by using objects, elements and materials that will rebuild and bring recognition to Mies’ historical importance. More information after the break.