Join SUPERFRONT on Tuesday May 27th at 7:30pm for Public No.2 featuring three projects – The Pier 42 Little Free Library on the Lower East Side, a portable exhibition-in-a-box and publication Planning for Protest presented by Shannon Harvey of Public Address, and AFOAM’s winning entry for Urban Rest Stop Parting—an alternative to the traditional highway rest stop for motorists in Syracuse, NY.
Public No.2 is one in a series of salon-style events hosted by SUPERFRONT in summer 2014 which will celebrate and explore the ‘edges’ of art, architecture, and design by showcasing and probing what ‘public’ means for the city and emerging design practices. 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.
Two of the three projects featured on May 27th will be presented by Shannon Harvey. The first is one of the Little Free Libraries that popped up around Lower Manhattan last summer. Little Free Libraries are small book shelters designed to give people a place to congregate–in public spaces across the city. Since 2009, the Little Free Library project has brought thousands of micro-libraries to towns and cities across the world. This summer, New York City institutions PEN World Voices Festival, a celebration of international literature, and The Architectural League of New York (TALNY), a cultural nonprofit, teamed up to activate the project in public spaces across the city.
The Little Free Library located at Pier 42 in Manhattan was completed in May 2013 by Shannon Harvey, Adam Michaels, and Levi Murphy in partnership with the LFL project and Hester Street Collaborative as part of a larger community initiative to transform Pier 42 into a temporary park as it awaits permanent transformation and park status. The Pier 42 LFL team was comprised of an urban designer, a book designer, and a furniture designer.
“Each member of our team focuses on the accessibility of ideas for broad publics and the positive role that designers can have on society. We see physical books as a crucial means of communicating ideas amongst individuals, importantly circumventing the “digital divide” of electronic media. We’re enthusiastic about the prospect of designing a unique distribution point for readers to encounter information that they might not otherwise have access to. Further, with this project we seek to participate in current discourse surrounding distribution models and gift economies”
SUPERFRONT worked with one of the other 10 Little Free Library design teams Stereotank as part of last years PUBLIC SUMMER installation to create a pop-up LFL in First Park to promote access to and awareness of the 10 projects spread throughout the neighborhood.
A second project produced by Harvey is a portable exhibition-in-a-box and publication Planning for Protest. Organized by Ben Allen, James Bae, Ricardo Gomes, Shannon Harvey and Adam Michaels, the project explores both the social and architectural definitions of protest in light of the current global financial crisis. Architectural offices witnessing these events first-hand will provide case studies and project proposals for contested spaces within their own cities.
The third project, winner of the UPSTATE: Center for Design, Research, and Real Estate Urban Rest Stop Competition, Parting will activate the intersection of Genesee St and Almond St (under I-81) in Syracuse, New York, with a series of translucent curtains, suspended on cables and scaffolding beneath the structure of the highway.These curtains may be manipulated by visitors to create urban rooms, be shaped by artists to form backdrops for interventions, serve as screens for documentaries, or sets for performances.
Parting is infrastructure designed to support cultural activities from conversation to performance to education, allowing itself to be shaped or projected on by the needs of the populace. Rather than an imposing permanent elements that affect the landscape, the form of our intervention is made, remade and eventually re-used by visitors at future sites throughout the city
The Parting of the curtains has symbolic meaning as well – as individuals pass through the layers of fabric, they reopen connections between neighborhoods and create new ones with their participation in arts and educational activities beneath the highway – once an obstruction to those very activities. Produced in collaboration with artist and community groups, the installation will incorporate large scale video projection as well as site-specific installations by artists.
Want to share your work at our next mixer on June 10th? 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 check out the rest of our new website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more news and the latest updates on Public.
Public No.2, Tuesday May 27th at 7:30pm – 2014 at Freeman Space, 155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222. G to Greenpoint Avenue.