Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Michael and I attended the opening of “Holding Pattern”, Interboro’s winning entry for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program a couple of weeks ago. MASS was privileged to be among the five finalists this year, which included Matter Practice, IJP Corporation, and Formless Finder in addition to Interboro.
It is encouraging to see another project chosen that focused on community engagement and envisioned a way for the impact of the installation to last beyond the summer. Interboro’s concept drew upon the community’s suggestions of their needs and then incorporated this eclectic collection of objects into their proposal. For example, a ballet studio’s need for mirrors, was adapted into a fun-house style room, tree’s providing much needed shade for Warm Up party participants will then be planted for different community groups after the summer. The sheer mass of trees that people asked for was itself a recognition of what is a latent desire to the inhabitants of Long Island City.
What is exciting about “Holding Pattern” is the statement it makes in the contemporary debate over the role of social engagement in architecture. Rather than differentiate this as an “Architecture of social engagement”, somehow removed from the avant-garde, Interboro has used “Holding Pattern” to articulate that choosing between the two is unnecessary – or maybe impossible.
As we have found in our work, this debate is a false one, as it suggests that the “social” implications of architecture could somehow be separated from Architecture itself. Is there such a thing as “socially unengaged” architecture? Interboro’s “Holding Pattern” suggests there is not, and it is encouraging to see MoMA has chosen to highlight this by selecting this project as this year’s winning entry.
Congratulations to Tobias, Daniel, and Georgeen and the rest of the Interboro team.
Founding Partner and Creative Director
Posted by MASS Design Group at 10:58 AM