Want to feel good about architecture again? Forget the glam-palace condos blocking your view. Forget the brilliant but over-budget towers stunted by “the economy.” Forget everything you think architecture is and can be, and go see Into the Open: Positioning Practice, up now at Parsons. Go. Now.
Why? In one room, there are sixteen ways architecture can change the world. There’s the requisite affordable housing, of course, but also a community garden project, a map of Brooklyn based on incarceration statistics (which you may remember as that “woah, is that for real?” piece in the far-back corner of Design and the Elastic Mind), a barge-based swimming pool, a tour of LA landfills, and concert stage made out of water bottles.
Plus, the gallery walls are chalkboards so you can add your own ideas. Here’s ours: Toby Barlow’s op-ed from the Sunday Times. A brilliant counter-point to the depress-fest that made the cover of the Magazine. All those abandoned houses in Cleveland? In Baltimore? In Detroit? Calling all artists! Move in, pay nothing for rent, and make great art. Take over a dead city and make it shine again.
We’re eyeing Cleveland. Get some friends, plop down a few hundred on a house, fix it up, build some sculptures in the yard, a big garden out back, a dancefloor in the basement, and get cookin’. The river’s cleaned up (mostly), the lake’s beautiful, and the corned beef is de-lish. Cleveland’s calling! Who’s with us?