Text description provided by the architects. Abruzzo Bodziak Architects (ABA) designed the installation for the exhibition Architecture Books Yet to Be Written at New York City’s Storefront for Art and Architecture gallery. The exhibition served as the anchor program for the New York Architecture Book Fair, which invites us to reflect upon the cultural contribution of architecture through books from 1982 to today.
By extending the gallery’s iconic rotating facade panels into bookshelves that pierce the public space of the sidewalk, Abruzzo Bodziak sets the stage for an exhibition shaped by public participation and dialogue. The shelves, constructed of painted MDF, contain a selection of iconic architecture books published over the past 35 years, as selected through Storefront’s recent “Global Survey”. The books stand up with the help of custom aluminum Book Marks which also display brief statements that recontextualize their relevance. The shelves are further populated over the course of the exhibit with additional contributions from publishers, nonprofit organizations, creative collectives, and visitors. By remaining relatively sparse, however, the shelves suggest a trajectory for the future of architectural books yet to be written.
Abruzzo Bodziak also designed 5 uniquely shaped mirrored Book Props that serve as nontextual signifiers for chronology within the exhibition. Each Prop is made of acrylic and is displayed together with a book printed with a date on each page. By organizing the books on the shelves by time period, they serve to orient and guide the viewer.
In addition to completing the exhibition design, Abruzzo Bodziak participated in 24x24x24, a concurrent program at Storefront centered around the design of seating, with a series of public performances. Their design, “Step/Stool” uses readymade objects to create a ziggurat that can be turned to alternately appear as a bench, high stool, stair, or book wedge as it is repositioned. The stool can be read as a pedestal for debate over a book’s inclusion in the historical narrative, and is meant to spark public discussion on how we honor books.