Glimpses of New York and Amsterdam in 2040

06-08-2011

The exhibition “Glimpses of New York and Amsterdam in 2040″ opened today at New York’s Center for Architecture. Stop by and see Interboro’s project The Newark Visionary Museum, which offers a glimpse into the future of Broad Street in Newark, NJ. The curators of the exhibition conducted an interview with Interboro that will be published in the exhibition catalog. Alternatively, you can read it here:

1. How do you collaborate (within your office and with partners)? This sounds trite, but we’re big on interdisciplinarity. At the heart of our philosophy is the idea that architecture’s ability to act is tied to its own ability to recognize those that act on it. In our work, we’re working towards an ever-expanding concept of what architecture is, of how it acts on the world, but also how it is acted upon by individuals, institutions, ideas, idealizations, and objects. As such, we strive to be as extroverted as possible.

2. Describe your firm’s approach to sustainability. We try to approach everything on a case-by-case basis, and so we really don’t have a single approach to sustainability. That’s not to say we don’t have convictions about what is and isn’t sustainable—we could talk about how unsustainable it is to, say, have such uneven distributions of health, wealth, and education in our metropolitan areas—it’s just that our approach is always unique to the task at hand. For example, we describe “Holding Pattern” as a project about recycling, but not in a conventional way. For it, we simply asked MoMA PS1′s neighbors the following question: is there something you need that we could design, use in the courtyard during the Warm Up, then donate in the Fall, once the Warm Up is over? In this sense the project makes the temporariness of the program front and center. We talked to taxi management companies, libraries, high schools, senior and daycare centers, community gardens, the post office, and dozens of other Long Island City-based institutions. Through discussions, we settled on an eclectic collection of objects–mirrors, ping-pong tables, a lifeguard chair, a rock-climbing wall and 84 trees–that we might not have thought to include in our design, but that enhance the Warm Up’s program, and strengthen MoMA PS1′s ties to Long Island City. Beginning in the Fall, 2011, a total of 79 objects and 51 trees will be distributed to 55 organizations in Long Island City. Another 33 trees will be distributed to 22 organizations in other parts of Queens.

3. What historical influences are most meaningful to your firm? In no particular order: White flight Back flight Lina Bo Bardi Suburbanization American pragmatism Queens, NY Housing mobility Everyday Urbanism WIMBY Actor-Network Theory Regionalism

4. Which of your firm’s current projects best illustrates a glimpse into the future? Probably “Holding Pattern,” our winning submission to MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Competition, which opens on June 16th. It has been described as a “community junkyard” and the “summer’s hottest hyperboloid. This sits well with us.

5. Where will your office be in 2040? Hopefully where it is now: on the 6th floor of 33 Flatbush Avenue. It’s a wonderful place.

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