Harness Your Hopes

I’d almost been avoiding the PS1 Young Architects Award over the past several years because, without exception, its invited proposals were pretty uniformly disappointing, disheartening, and increasingly irrelevant.  It’s hard to remember a time when I felt a proposal was architecturally challenging, didn’t pander to low-level social or spacial thinking, and was beautiful as well. Well, this year there was a proposal that actually made me pause, look hard, and think. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. The proposal was called “Bag Pile” by formless finder, based in NYC, essentially two young recent architectural grads from Princeton, Garrett Ricciardi and Julian Rose. I’m reposting some images here via Bustler. I’d reprint the mission statement from the formless finder website, as provoking as I think it is, but it’s probably better if you visit their site and just take a look at it.

It’s a bit weird, and almost jarring at first. It has a slightly apocalyptic feel to it, or at least suggestive of disorder and disarray. But that is exactly the point, really–it’s unlike anything that’s ever been proposed for what had become a tired, poor excuse for an event that was supposed to be a showcase of young architectural ideas.

Their approach was fairly radical, yet upon reflection, completely logical. The principal ideas were to use something heavy instead of light. To explore analog, instead of digital. To use found versus fabricated. Formless versus form.

I’m happy to see such divergent and intelligent thinking about this space and its program. The images, which are eerie yet captivating, embody their proposed ideas perfectly. Unfortunately, this proposal won’t be built, but the fact that its ideas have been published and presented well, bode well enough.

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