From display structures to housing prototypes — the exhibition "Scaffolding" explores the possibilities of the underappreciated tool
By Noémie Despland-Lichtert|
Wednesday, Oct 11, 2017
Often underlooked, if not ignored, scaffolding populates our cities and offer a flexible, modular, accessible and fast method to build structures. Curated by independent researcher Greg Barton, the exhibition Scaffolding at the Center for Architecture in New York (October 2, 2017 – January 18, 2018), examines the history, contemporary applications and endless possibilities of scaffolding. The installation is designed by Shohei Shigematsu and OMA New York, with graphic design by MTWTF.
Curator Barton says "Scaffolding functions as a noun and verb, object and process. It is commonly invoked as a powerful metaphor by many disciplines due to its supportive role and adaptive qualities.” The exhibition explores the possibilities of this building method beyond construction sites as way to enable civic engagement.
Drawing the history of the construction technology, Scaffolding, looks at wooden sticks in European middle age, the use of bamboo in Asia and more recently the use of industrialized steel and aluminum sticks. It also presents contemporary chosen scaffolding projects from across the world, including display structures, housing prototypes, and participatory self-build schemes. Among the chosen examples, you’ll find the work by students at Vienna University of Technology, SelgasCano’s project in Kenya and housing prototypes in India.
OMA New York created a large scaffolding installation throughout the galleries serving as a display structure. The “exhibition infrastructure” occupies all the galleries of the Center for Architecture. It links the different spaces through one structure and expands the exhibition onto the streets, completely transforming the space and appearance of Center for Architecture. The installation also includes a set of periscopes allowing to see the exhibition from the street.
“I am thrilled that the Center for Architecture will be temporarily 'under construction'. It is exciting to experiment with the flexibility of scaffolding systems as an exhibition environment,” says Shohei Shigematsu, Partner-in-Charge at OMA New York.
With an estimated 280 miles of scaffolding in New York City at any given time, the exhibition attempts to create alternative uses for the structural framework and a new appreciation.
The exhibition is part of Archtober, a month-long festival of architecture and design events in New York.
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