The Center for Architecture, a cultural venue for architecture and the built environment in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village that shares a space with the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, recently announced a forthcoming group exhibition that will showcase visionary connections between architectural design and new dynamics of living and community.
Curated by Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of art history in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, and independent historian and educator Juliana Barton, Reset: Towards a New Commons will envision a future in which Americans are reconnected to one another following decades of suburbanization, population sprawl, automobile dependence and, most recently, the spread of COVID-19.
“Cities, suburbs, and rural areas wittingly and unwittingly separate certain groups from larger communities through spaces designed according to age, needs, or income,” its curators write. “Rather than designing specific spaces for specific needs, Reset: Towards a New Commons considers how spaces may be designed for all, addressing the need for barrier-free environments and practices rooted in Universal Design.”
The exhibition will present visions of a more connected future through several case studies developed by four selected teams: Block Party: From Independent Living to Disability Collectives (Berkeley, California), Decolonizing Suburbia (Cincinnati), Reclaiming the Commons Through Play (New York City), and Aging Against the Machine (Oakland, California). With each team composed of six to eight members, their speculations will focus on the needs of specific groups that are all-too-easily disconnected from the world around them, such as isolated religious communes, parents-to-be, people with disabilities, and seniors with dementia.
“Rarely in day-to-day design practice do occasions present themselves to develop out-of-the-box proposals with teams of interdisciplinary expertise and diverse perspectives,” said Bergdoll in a statement. “Reset seeks to foster conditions for innovative thinking between different talents and communities, with the express aim of catalyzing much-needed conversations on how architecture might help break down barriers that divide society.
Reset: Towards a New Commons will be on display from February 17 to May 21, 2022.
Currently, the Center for Architecture’s physical galleries and and public spaces remain shuttered, as they have been since the beginning of the pandemic. However, they are slated to reopen on a yet-to-be-announced date this fall. Meanwhile, the venue, which also leads Archtober, continues to maintain a robust calendar of virtual offerings including digital exhibitions, talks, and more.