SecondMedia has been selected as the winner of Storefront for Art and Architecture's 2015 Street Architecture Prize Competition. Now in its third year, the biennial international competition seeks to implement temporary outdoor installations that facilitate "new forms of collective public gathering." Participants in the 2015 competition were asked to respond to the theme of New York's IDEAS City Festival, "The Invisible City." SecondMedia's winning proposal 'Foamspace' -- which envisions creating an "urban lounge" with Geofoam blocks -- beat out over 70 submissions from teams of artists, engineers, and architects across the globe.
Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.
Described as a "radical and innovative proposition," Foamspace envisions the installation of a series of lightweight Geofoam blocks on the sidewalk outside SANAA's New Museum. Envisioned as an "urban lounge," the installation will host a range of performances, public debates, and festival programs, while providing a space for visitors to relax between events.
The "landscape of structures" will also serve as a platform for launching a community cryptocurrency, the Foamspace Coin. The geofoam blocks outside the New Museum provide a visual manifestation of the Bitcoin blockchain, encouraging architects and artists to "capture, store, and mobilize the value from the Festival." Built using the free and open platform Counterparty, the Foamspace Coin will extend beyond the temporary Foamspace installation and represent "a token of membership for the community," allowing the relocation of ideas and "value from the Ideas City Festival to [move to] a new site and beyond."
Following the conclusion of the IDEAS City Festival, the geofoam blocks will be resold to their manufacturer, with resulting revenue placed in a central fund for future community projects.
The Street Architecture Prize is awarded biennially to interdisciplinary teams not more than ten years out of school, and recognizes 'the most innovative project for a temporary outdoor structure." The competition purse contains $7,500, in addition to a $20,000 construction budget. Entrants of the 2015 cycle were challenged to explore "forces within the contemporary city" including "transparency and surveillance, citizenship and representation, expression and suppression, and participation and dissent."
The SecondMedia team includes Nikolay Martynov, Betty Fan, Ekaterina Zavyalova and Ryan John King.