Architecture Exhibition 5x5 Participatory Provocations opened its doors at the New York Center for Architecture on July 11, featuring 25 models by 25 young American architecture firms. The exhibition engages its participants to take clear stances on a series of provocative issues facing architecture today, with their models “producing a physical expression or provocation that is then made available to the public.” Curated by Kevin Erickson, Julia van den Hout, and Kyle May, the exhibition argues for “participatory criticism” covering growing income gaps, immigration, globalization, technology’s impact on our lives, surveillance, and power.
Architecture has a seat at each discussion – 5x5.
Each team of architects participating in the exhibition responds to one of the five prompts using their models: contemplating the future of drone deliveries, the consequences of the construction of extreme luxury high-rises as financial investments, luxury tourism on the moon, the fictional development of NSA community branches, and the potential construction of an anti-immigration wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.
Read on for the 25 entries below:
I'M IN / ABRUZZO BODZIAK ARCHITECTS
New York, NY
Team: Emily Abruzzo, Gerald Bodziak, Grace Jeong
"Just beyond the surface of all built space is a vast network that is pervasive and continuous. Most of us have an intimate connection to this space, a tool that keeps us connected but in turn supports that network and locates us within it. Here, the mobile device’s camera allows privileged back-door views into the virtual continuity that overlays and pierces the physical spaces where we work, live, shop, and pray. The space of the network is larger than any building envelope, paradoxically contained within while it extends ad infinitum."
ARCHIVE OF AFFINITIES / ANDREW KOVACS
Los Angeles, CA
Team: Andrew Kovacs, Yessenia Juarez
"This tower of investment is the result of making architecture from architecture. The Tower is generated from mining existing aerial images of architecture. These architectural images are transformed into a new image, or design that is easily scaled. Because of the nimbleness in its creation the Tower is an ideal architectural investment - at a small size it is an object to either to be collected, scale it up a bit and the tower is an ideal investment for a functional water catch basin, scale it up even further and the tower will perform as a flexible space dedicated to living, work, or leisure. If the investment starts to fail simply create a new image."
SECOND MEASURE(S) / ANTHONY TITUS STUDIO
New York, NY
Team: Anthony Titus, Jacob Wigton
"In anticipation of near-future civilian space travel, Second Measure(s) is a lunar resort that proposes an experience of extreme environmental otherness. Capitalizing on the distinct gravitational and atmospheric qualities of the Moon, the architecture of this resort is conceived as a place where inhabitants may actively experience the particularities of the lunar surface and sky. The project is defined as a dynamic and sculpted ground, echoes by floating clusters of space above. While the ground is defined as a sharply carved surface, the spaces above consist of interwoven zones of opacity, transparency and translucency, offering unique opportunities to dwell within an environment of unfamiliarity and the unknown."
DOMAIN / BRILLHART ARCHITECTURE
Team: Jacob Brillhart, Melissa Brillhart, Andrew Aquart, Jean François Lejeune, Sophie Juneau, Tom Makowski, Stefani Fachini
"The advent of commercial and recreational drones is opening up a work of possibilities — but it is also raising privacy and safety issues, noise and nuisance complains, policing challenges, and legal questions regarding property law. DOMAIN explores the notion of individual property rights in the x-y-z axes. It not only forces us to contemplate the air space we own; but also reminds us of the rights zoning authorities exercise on our private property; the permanent rights (easements) we grant others to access our land; and our subterranean boundaries below."
NSA AT THE CORNER OF MAIN AND ELM / CARL LOSTRITTO
Team: Carl Lostritto (designer), Jihoon Oh (Project Assistant)
"...the NSA (now called "YourNSA") can occupy comparatively smaller existing buildings by injecting reflective glass mass into the space. The mass extrudes outward just beyond the limits of local building codes to ensure figural registration. The entire building becomes poche — the space of the pocket, potentially occupiable but perceived from the outside as solid. YourNSA focuses on human-centered information. They turn human suspicion, concern, and bias into data. Two architectural problems then arise. First, how to contend with the contradiction of being optimally visible, but secret. (People are more likely to report of their fellow citizens if they can do so privately.) Secondly, as much as the NSA wants to bring people "in" to a space of voluntary interrogation, they don't want anyone to actually penetrate their facility. The result is a spatial experience that is equally and simultaneously in and invisible; interior and exterior."
IF THE TOWER STANDS, THE NEXT PLAYER IS UP / CLUB CLUB
Chicago, IL and New York, NY
Team: Cyril Marsollier-Desir + Wallo Villacorta
"Development decisions are made independently from the architect. The city slips from our grasps as it is built before our eyes; urban forms are physical manifestations of investment strategies often tied to economic and political conditions. Developments spawn from aligning secured funds and manipulating urban ordinances. When real-estate speculations are heightened to new levels, city making becomes a competitive game to win. As one removes blocks to position them atop one another, the tower raises and simultaneously weakens its base, revealing the space between risk-taking and free will."
2046: An Invisible Odyssey / DAVID EMMONS
Team: David Emmons, Yang Yu
"Although the National Security Agency (NSA) first developed in 1952, it took more than thirty years to design and dedicate a series of structures to house the nation's premier covert intelligence organization. Coincidentally, 2016 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the headquarters' completion in Fort Meade, MD. If we were to speculate in thirty-year increments, what might the sixtieth anniversary be like? Imagine, the year 2046 — the NSA has built invisible nodes in nearly every major metropolitan area, confirming the original headquarters building to be obsolete. Development has latticed across the nation, creating an intelligence infrastructure that is unseen to the general public, yet cherished and beloved for its proximity and consistency."
WALL OVER / FORMLESSFINDER
New York, NY
Team: Garrett Ricciardi, Julian Rose
"It’s been said (…perhaps by Bill Clinton) that the fingerprint of a Presidency is more easily erased than it’s ever imagined to be. It’s not always the case, but the sands of our political landscape tend to shift over decades and not terms. Of course, there are bad ideas along the way (many of them), and with some frequency political decisions have had the upper hand in erasing architecture and not the other way around. Perhaps it’s because architecture is often too complex for it’s own good. This project offers a simple intervention aimed at a ‘political solution’, where the flow of immigration might be far less clear than any campaign promises made it out to be."
DRAPE WALL / FUTURE EXPANSION
New York, NY
Team: Deirdre McDermott, Nicholas McDermott, Gabriel Jewell-Vitale, Michael Filomeno, Mel Loyola Agosto
"When Donald Trump first approached us to design a border wall, we were skeptical. But then we realized that the border exists; we wouldn't be creating a barrier, just decorating an existing one. Inspired by Lady Liberty's flowing gown, we decided that the statue, iconic but almost completely hollow, needed substance. So we set about shaping desert sand, intent on building real mass and giving the statue new life. Drape Wall is an icon with an inside. What appears to be a monumental fence turns out to be a gathering place, a linear oasis, a Tex-Mex paradise, a little shade from the sun."
INFINITY EDGE / GELPI PROJECTS
Team: Nick Gelpi, Dean McMurry, Julia Sarduy, Jorge Rodriquez, Alvaro Membreno
"Gazing over an edge, the world appears flattened against an infinitely thin boundary. This juxtaposition is both deep in cosmic associations, as well as shallow in the context of luxury real estate. The familiar forms of Frank Lloyd Wright’s dendriform columns hover over the lunar landscape, merging at the top into a canopy of organic interlocking edges. The thinness of the structure becomes exaggerated in response to the reduction of gravity, having to only support 1/6th of the load that the same quantity of material would exert on earth. Our lunar resort is steeped in luxury, at once rooted in materiality yet straddling the edge of impossible realities."
AUTO CORRECT / IS-OFFICE
Los Angeles, CA
Team: Kyle Reynolds, Jeff Mikolajewski, Anna Doran
"Architecture can’t live in the cloud. It’s too heavy and conceptually burdened by the weight of its own history to be the next big thing. Rather than putting architecture into the cloud we can put the cloud into architecture - curating assemblages of everyday objects into buildings - delivering architecture to your front door. Auto Correct is a shifting arrangement of things that reduces, or elevates, architecture into a thin film. It’s architecture of display and protection; a cross between a plastic slipcover and a formfitting vitrine; encasing consumer goods that are piled up into totems of domestic display. This is Mies and Johnson on autopilot – a drone’s view of the home."
LUXUS ABSENTIA / JKURTZ
...A resort of material,
Nature on command.
Nestled in the edge of a crater,
Gazing back at earth;
The ultimate aerial, omniscience, control;
If we can model atmosphere under a black sky.
PATENT NO. 9925113 / KNE STUDIO
New York, NY
"The urban environment is full of objects, large and small, fixed and moving. As drones begin to occupy the 200 feet of airspace overhead, reaching individuals within the cacophony of an already crowded streetscape will be nearly impossible. Fortunately, most buildings share one thing in common–rooftop access. Patent No. 9925113, is a ‘droneport doggy door’ added to existing rooftop stairwells, allowing drones to travel into buildings, delivering packages door side. However, the real value in this new infrastructure will not be how much we consume but what the drones can take away."
THE TRUMP DMZ / KYLE MAY, ARCHITECT
New York, NY
"The easiest way to manage a border is to not have a border. Twenty-five feet on each side of the US and Mexico border is sold to a new country, the Trump DMZ, for one dollar and seventeen pesos, respectively. In return, both the United States and Mexico are freed from border protection duties. The new 50-foot wide country becomes a development zone for the rich and famous - accessed only by air. The independent country only allows well-vetted millionaires to become citizens, claims the highest income per capita, and the highest real estate values in the world."
A GROUNDBREAKING PARTNERSHIP / MICHAEL ABRAHAMSON
Ann Arbor, MI
"The National Security Agency is pleased to announce our new public-private partnership—PRIAM Wireless©—providing a three-tier mobile phone service. Lifeline access is available to citizens and resident aliens free of charge! With an affordable upgrade to Premium access, customers can view their NSA Profile and receive consultation about their personal conduct from local, on-site agents. Top-tier Executive access allows customers to view their personal data in our specially designed Faraday Vaults™. Sustainably designed sales branches are now open in major markets, and are coming soon to towns across the country. Visit your community branch or nsa.gov to sign up."
RURAL DRONEPORT / NORDEN
Team: Johann Rischau, Anna Gutsch, Aaron Sachs
"The year 2026—droneports as public utility have been successfully integrated into daily life and are now located in every remote community. This federal distribution network replaces the labor intensive mail delivery service. With the Equal Infrastructure Improvement Act in 2019, congress recognized drones as solutions to the countries growing dependency on oil and labor to guarantee affordable access to goods across the rural United States. The USDS (formerly known USPS) droneports are based on mechanical principles found in gumball machines. While it seemed counter intuitive initially to use spherical packages, it turned out to be cost and resource efficient."
LUNAR RESORT / PLATFORM FOR ARCHITECTURE + RESEARCH
Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY
Team: Jennifer Marmon, Partner; Luke Fiederer, Malcolm Galang, Darrell Ibanez
"Sited at the lunar south pole, with a horizon of near perpetual sunlight and proximity to ice water, the lunar resort is comprised of inflatable polyhedron modules that can be transported by space rocket, assembled onsite and reinforced with protective shells of rover printed, radiated regolith. The resort is organized as a gathering of soft volumes of varying sizes and undulating orientations that reflect programmatic uses while creating a porous geometry that allows both sunlight and views to permeate the structure. The volumes lightly intersect with one another leading to a collection of spaces for lunar exploration, leisure and sleeping."
BLIND SPOTS / PATH + Price Studio
San Francisco, CA
Team: Matt Hutchinson, Brian Price
"When surveillance and social media sharing become indistinguishable, the NSA can be understood not as an adversary, but as a public utility. The NSA branch offices provide privacy and voyeurism in a state-sanctioned space outside of the NSA’s ubiquitous surveillance coverage. A double-sided wall, a border, frames a void in the city that absorbs light and spatial definition. Within this ‘blind spot’ one has direct access to an underground server containing the NSA’s vast repository of data. The branch offices are an empty monument to the social contract: in exchange for access one becomes complicit with the NSA, making material our dilemma of security and narcissism."
TDR TOWER / P.R.O. - PETERSON RICH OFFICE & QUARRA STONE COMPANY
New York, NY & Madison, WI
Team: Miriam Peterson, Nathan Rich, Peter DePasquale, Wade Cotton, Shengning Zhang, Evan Desmond Yee
"In light of falling confidence in world markets and near 0% interest on government bonds, New York City real estate has become a financial safe haven. With ground level sites almost entirely occupied, developers have turned their interests skyward. Under pressure to create new investment opportunities, the City Planning Commission has eliminated height restrictions across the city, inadvertently spurring an entirely new building typology: site-less towers. These slender forms, tapered to the sky exposure plane, touch terra firma in the most minimal way. Cores and basic structure anchor into micro-sites, alleys, and rear yards. The stilted towers straddle ground level buildings and site boundaries on Manhattan Island, unlocking the full potential of the air above."
UNEARTH / SEAN GAFFNEY & CHRISTINA NGUYEN
New York, NY
"The blanket statements made by Trump disregard virtually all aspects of this complex issue other than materiality. The imprint left here is an artifact of the varying landforms such a panoptic wall would encase; 1,954 miles of vast deserts, mountains, cities, canyons and lakes are compressed into a single monolith."
IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM (FOR ICE CREAM) / SNARKITECTURE
New York, NY
"Freeze-dried ice cream is the ultimate symbol of man conquering space: a luxury item in an otherwise spartan environment. First developed upon request by astronauts for the Apollo missions, it has come to represent the possibility of space settlement for a wider audience—offering some hope that life in space may not be so different from life on earth after all. Ultimately, this vacuum-packed delicacy was discontinued because of its tendency to crumble, making it too dangerous for humans and equipment in space. A reminder that maybe we will only ever be visitors in space."
SWARM / SOFTlab
New York, NY
"We see the droneport as a modern day pigeon coop, a kind of cell phone tower that sends out bits of data that are actually physical things. We chose for our site the place where we work, Manhattan. In this context we think the droneport will be one of the many pieces of infrastructure that populate the tops of buildings. Simply a place for drones, to charge, organize, exchange information, handoff deliveries, etc. We see drones very much like flying ants, a networked swarm that come together for bigger tasks or relay deliveries from one another to save energy."
DIPLOMAT'S TOWER / SPACECUTTER
New York, NY
"Located at the southeast corner of New York City’s Central Park, the Diplomat’s Tower offers unique amenities for its international owners. Developed under a partnership between the federal government, local agencies and private investors; the tower sits on a newly created special international district offering owner’s full diplomatic immunity while on and off the premises. The tower’s base spans 2 city blocks with a private floating lobby on 57th street and public entrance through The Plaza Hotel on Central Park South. All units offer an exceptional view of Central Park with panoramic windows up to 120 feet wide and 25 feet tall. Additional amenities include: helicopter shuttle to and from regional airports, art acquisitions concierge, private elevators, health club, restaurants, cinema and room service from the attached Plaza Hotel and Residences."
OPEN WALL / STUDIO CADENA
New York, NY
"Rather than a tool for division and discord, we imagine an optimistic intervention that offers refuge, life, and growth—a habitable wall. Envisioned as a shelterbelt and way-station to those crossing, over time, its open framework provides the scaffolding for future life. An unmistakable figure in the desert landscape, the wall welcomes an approach to a linear oasis in a otherwise barren no man’s land. The wall will be there before being something, it will be there after, relentlessly subverting its own purpose to become a destination rather than an arbitrary line - an architectural refuge that helps bind rather than divide."
SPEKULATIUS / ULTRAMODERNE
"Spekulatius is a solid timber tower in which the volume is subdivided into condo shares that double as carbon offsets. In contrast to the gleaming steel and glass constructions that we are accustomed to seeing, this tower functions as a carbon sink by virtue of the carbon dioxide absorbed by the trees that supply its structure. As long as the condos remain uninhabited (that is to say, solid), their status as investment vehicle remains intact. Three observatory levels are cut through the tower and interconnected by a double promenade of circulation cores through the solid mass, creating new urban public spaces that operate as twenty-first-century plazas: zones of relief from the economic determinism of the contemporary metropolis."
Prior to New York, 5x5 Participatory Provocations first opened at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in February 2016, and has since been exhibited at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the OMI International Arts Center in Ghent, NY. The show is on until 31 October.
Project Descriptions and Information via 5x5.
FromJuly 11, 2017 09:00 AM
UntilOctober 31, 2017 08:00 PM
VenueCenter for Architecture
Earlier this month, the Norman Foster Foundation opened its doors in central Madrid. Inhabiting in an old residential palace, and having undergone extensive renovation works since, the Foundation have also constructed their own contemporary courtyard pavilion.
One of the most public and politically relevant debates about spatial borders, that of the United States and Mexico, has been probed in a project currently being exhibited at the London Design Biennale.