New York art center Art Omi has announced the opening of a new exhibition celebrating communal, socially-orientated architecture. Titled Shared Space—Collective Practices, the exhibition will present the work of four architectural practices: WIP Collaborative, FUNdaMENTAL Design Build Initiative, Colloqate Design, and Assemble.
The four practices will present work that tests “the power of advocacy,” with projects situated in public spaces that feature collaborative relationships with local communities. Despite the geographical variation in their work, spanning the U.S., Latin America, and Europe, the four collectives are united in a multi-disciplinary approach to design, with teams often composed not only of architects but a variety of professions, including urbanism, sociology, and community organizations.
WIP Collaborative was founded on feminist principles in 2020 and seeks to overcome patriarchal conventions in architecture and practice through a collective structure that adapts to the needs of individual projects and collaborators. Meanwhile, FUNdaMENTAL operates as an educational nonprofit that brings international young designers to Latin America for summer projects that focus on neglected public spaces.
New Orleans-based Colloqate Design focuses on increasing community access to social, civic, and cultural spaces through “dismantling power structures that use the built environment to maintain systems of injustice through programming, planning, and design projects.” The fourth practice, London-based Assemble, operates across architecture, art, and design with a mission of involving the public as both a participant and collaborator in built and research works.
“[The projects] center on playfulness and resourcefulness, blurring the boundaries of public and private property, and emphasizing communal agency and ownership,” the organizers of the exhibition explain. “In this way, the projects address larger social concerns and the impact of economic transformation, with a particular focus on urban densification, underserved or neglected areas, social inequity, and democratization of space with the goal of building community and collective knowledge.”
The exhibition opens on January 21 and will also include a public lecture by Assemble on January 31 at 7 pm at The Cooper Union in New York City.
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