A non-profit organization dedicated to experimental design, creative exchange, and promoting contemporary architecture for an interdisciplinary world.

Announcing Public: A New Initiative and Program Series

Category : Announcement, Brooklyn, Event, Exhibits Apr 2nd, 2014


SUPERFRONT introduces new initiative and spring program series starting April 29, 2014

Hello from the edge. The edge is a space of publicness—an invitation to struggle and debate. The edge of art, architecture, and design is where we discover and test new ideas, experiment, collaborate, and innovate.

To celebrate and explore the edge SUPERFRONT is please to launch Public, a new initiative which will guide the organization’s 2014 competitions, public programs, and services to investigate key questions of ‘public’ in the city and emerging design practices. The critical need for designers to play a role in shaping the public realm has been well established as civic responsibility and the social impact design movement continue to grow. Public will focus on the realities of what it means to design with and for publics, identify and better understand the strategies and tactics of this work, and actualize a public of the designers, artists, activists, and everyday community members engaged in this field.

Community, participation, and engagement are highlighted as critical components in tactical interventions and large scale architectural and urban development proposals but little criticality is given to understanding the who, what, when, where, and why of the many publics which populate our cities. The ‘public’ is regularly evoked by architects, artists, developers, and politicians to advance ideas and plans for places, spaces, and projects in the city but little thought or craft is given to which part of any one public their work truly benefits.

As architect Mark Lakeman of Portland’s City Repair organization puts it, “the physical projects are just an excuse for people to meet their neighbors… The relationships that grow out of the ‘making’ are equal to, if not more important than, the places that result.” At its core SUPERFRONT’s mission is to promote these often undefinable relationships and invisible systems through conversations, exhibition, and physical projects—building collaborative and cross-disciplinary relationships in art, design, architecture, and community.


What Public? Which Public? Who Public? Where Public? How Public? Why Public?

SUPERFRONT is launching Public with a biweekly mixer series for those experimenting in and on the public edge of art and architecture beginning7:30pm, Tuesday April 29, 2014 at Freeman Space, 155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222.

Each mixer will feature an open dialogue with emerging and established innovators to share projects, ideas, strategies, and tactics with like-minded individuals and groups practicing civic design. The mixers will serve as a critical platform for young and emerging designers to share success stories and resources, network and learn, and ultimately collaborate on new projects in the pursuit of Public.

All are welcome, we only ask for a $5 donation per person at the door to help support this and future projects.

Want to share your work at a mixer?If your work expands the definition of design for the public, or blurs the distinction of art and architecture in public, we want to have you showcase your work! All emerging artists, architects, and designers welcome! Email Stephen Klimek at with your name and a sample of the work you’d like to present.

SUPERFRONT will showcase these projects on our website and new monthly newsletter From the Edge where we will be also be connecting you with the many other people, projects, and organizations probing the edges of architecture. Be sure to explore the rest of our new website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and sign up for our newsletter From the Edge for more information and the latest updates on Public.

Stay tuned for more. Later this month SUPERFRONT will announce details for our annual Gala and fifth annual PUBLIC SUMMER installation – an opportunity for young designers to design, build, and program a temporary installation with community partners in New York City. Learn more about the last four years of PUBLIC SUMMER here.