Saturday, September 17, 2011

Urban Design Week at the Queens Museum of Art

The 10 winners of the Institute for Urban Design's By the City/For the City competition were announced on Thursday.  Check them out here.  Maura and I made it to the Urban Design Week launch party at the new/temporary BMW Guggenheim Lab, at Houston and 2nd Avenue, where all of the entries were looped on big screens overhead, as well as published in the brand new Atlas of Possibility for the Future of New York (available for $35).  Of course I'm a little biased, but it's a great-looking book, especially considering that the competition ended a month and a half ago and it includes 150-some entries. Nice work by the IfUD.

Anyway, while I wasn't a winner, I have been asked to present my project at the Queens Museum of Art tomorrow.  From 2:00 to 4:00, 5 of the competition entrants will be speaking as a lead-in to the opening reception for the QMA's new photography exhibit: Detroit Disassembled, by Andrew Moore.  It's a haul (Flushing Meadows/Citi Field area), but could be fun.  Hope to see some of you there!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Turn the Beat Around: By the City/For the City

While the winners for the Institute for Urban Design's By the City/For the City competition have yet to be announced, I just discovered that my entry was used for a profile of the competition for The Architect's Newspaper.  Winners will be named at the Urban Design Week Launch Party, to be held at the BMW Guggenheim Lab next Thursday evening, 9/15, from 6:00 to 8:00.  

The gist of the competition: in stage one, residents of NYC were asked to submit ideas--of any shape or form--for improving the urban environment.  These ranged from the ambitiously pragmatic ("Wouldn't it be great if there was an easier way to get from Brooklyn to Queens?") to the whimsically impractical ("Wouldn't it be great if there was a slide from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to Brooklyn Bridge Park?"). Stage two asked designers to respond to specific ideas.  

My proposal answered a mash-up of two calls--one for half of the city's advertising space to be given over to NY artists, and one for more outdoor museums in the city.  The new hypothetical: Wouldn’t it be great if 50% of the surface area on existing NYC billboards were given over to artists, turning the city into a massive urban gallery with ever-changing installations?  

The proposal in its entirety follows...