The Design Criticism Department (D-CRIT) at the School of Visual Arts will be hosting the “Playful Experimentation and Criticism” lecture featuring Michael Meredith, co-principal and co-founder of MOS. With MOS being an architectural practice that was born out of playful experimentation, what does being experimental mean and how is this related to criticism?
This weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the Open Studio event at MoMA’s PS1. As we mentioned earlier, this project posed the daunting question of how to re-think, re-organize and re-energize the concept of an American suburb in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. As MoMA’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Barry Bergdoll explains, “Projects will aim to challenge cultural assumptions concerning home ownership and associated settlement patterns, such as suburban sprawl, and assist the public in contemplating a potentially different future for housing and cities. The workshop and exhibition are premised on reframing the current crisis as an opportunity, an approach that is in keeping with the fundamental American ethos where challenging circumstances engender innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. It is our hope that new paradigms of architecture and regional and transportation planning become the silver lining in the crisis of home ownership.” The five multidisciplinary teams chose five different American suburbs to explore, and this Saturday, we jumped from Oregon to Florida, to Illinois, to California and New Jersey, to observe their five quite different solutions.
Check out our preview of the teams’ work-in-progress projects which will be exhibited at the MoMA this February.
A few months ago we presented you the winning entry for this years YAP competition for the P.S.1 summer installation, awarded to MOS Architects (Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample) as we reported earlier.
This competition has been a field for experimentation on digital manufacturing, new materials and new construction techniques -all under a tight budget-, as we saw in 2008 with the P.F.1 by WORKac.
To keep the courtyard fresh, a series of “hut” like structures conformed by inverted catenaries (part of an on going research by the practice) acting as chimneys: The faux fur that covers them collects heat from the sun, transfering it to the air inside the huts creating a chimney effect that keeps air flowing to cool the lower level.
The resulting space corresponds to the after-party concept envisioned by MOS:
The main purpose of the afterparty is to provide a relaxing environment, as compared to the earlier venue, where the atmosphere is usually more frenetic. During an afterparty people often sit down, relax, and chat freely, meet new people in a more controlled setting. If the original party was one that continued until late at night, the afterparty will often include a morning snack, which usually counts as breakfast. …. Possibly in contrast to relaxation, the afterparty can provide a chance for people to get away from the eyes of people who were overseeing the main party. This tends to be more common in events such as school balls where alcohol consumption is not allowed, and provides a location where the partygoers will be allowed to drink. In this case, the afterparty may turn out to be more lively than the main party, as the people are freed from the restrictions that were placed on them during the main party.
All photos by Florian Holzherr. See more after the break:
MOS project is entitled Afterparty, a design that Micheal Meredith and Hilary Sample (MOS partners) say is meant to honor and reflect current economic realities, by using basic materials. The main structure is a lightweight aluminum frame using recyclable parts which require minimal assembly, which will become a landmark for the neigborhood – all this on a USD$70,000 budget.
I spoke with Michael a few minutes ago and he refered to the name of the project: One thing about the “Afterparty,” as we’re calling it, is the need to look for new promiscuities after the party of a sort of high-formalism which has dominated academic discourse, and in our case it’s with the basic structural arch geometries, rough almost singular materiality and the production and interaction of “environment,” (literally cooling down the courtyard through stack effect) looking towards a more primitive state of architecture. – (See afterparty definition on Wikipedia).
The project is still under development, and we´ll keep you posted on further updates. We´ll try to do a good coverage on this as we did last year.
More images of Afterparty after the break.