by Tim Hayduk
The Center for Architecture Foundation’s summer series of Guided Exhibition Tours showcased two AIA New York Chapter Committee-based exhibitions, “New Practices New York 2012” and “The Harlem Edge: Cultivating Connections.” Both the New Practices and Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committees focused their attention on work by young architects in these two biennial competitions.
“New Practices New York 2012” began with 51 submissions by practices in all five NYC boroughs founded after 2006; thus the exhibition is a dynamic cross-section of firms. Some of the work featured was born out of university studies and theses, while others rose out of designers’ collaborations outside of the realm of architecture. Tour participants experienced an array of thought-provoking ideas that challenged traditional practice or redefined architecture by crossing geographic and ecological boundaries, even proposing building materials derived from bacteria fueled by renewable glucose.
Javier Caracamo and ENYA Co-Chair Amanda Rivera were on hand to walk attendees through “The Harlem Edge,” which focuses on the redevelopment of the West 135 Street marine transfer station. Both Caracamo and Rivera were deeply involved with the competition: from choosing the site, to soliciting Nourishing USA as the programmatic sponsor, to participating in the jury process, and planning the exhibition and affiliated events. Tour participants were surprised to learn that most of the competition came together through ENYA Committee members volunteering their time and energy. Unlike the heterogeneous collection of “New Practices New York 2012” entries that were juried, selected, and exhibited, “The Harlem Edge” entries were limited by a site, client, and program. Despite these constraints, 98 entrants from around the world submitted work that may help the West Harlem community to envision its own future.
The next Guided Exhibition Tour@theCenter will focus on “The Edgeless School: Design for Learning” and “The Best School in the World: Seven Finnish Examples from the 21st Century” on 10.04.12 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. On 11.16.12 and 1.7.03, CFAF will reprise a tour of “The Edgeless School” and include a look at “Building Connections 2012,” CFAF’s annual exhibition of K-12 student design work. For more information and to register, please visit www.cfafoundation.org.