Architecture and Advocacy in Long Island City
October 14, 2011
Photo from MoMA’s Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement (2010-2011) via The Design Observer
Last month, Barry Bergdoll wrote an essay about advocacy and architecture, sounding the alarm for architects, planners and designers to confront the social and economic challenges that have marginalized their fields in recent years. Bergdoll asserted that the “starchitect” had lost its luster and relevance, and that architects “need to be thinking of new ways of intervening in the world rather than waiting for things to return to a ‘normalcy’ that has receded into history.”
As chief curator of the architecture and design department at MoMA, Bergdoll has been able to leverage a prominent cultural institution as a platform to catalyze new forms of intervention. But even beyond the big-name art museums, this notion of architecture and design as direct means of bettering society (which Rem Koolhaas recently recognized as a salient characteristic of Brutalist architecture) has found renewed life throughout New York City.
Map created by WXY Architecture + Urban Design, via Urban Omnibus
Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City is a spirited new example of the movement to reunite art and architecture with advocacy. The multi-phase project, which recently kicked off with an exhibition opening last night at the Noguchi Museum, is the collaborative effort of numerous artists, architects, planners, writers, and the Long Island City community. The team boasts an impressive roster of innovators and critics, including architects Richard Meier and David Childs, both serving on the project’s advisory committee. Click to learn more.