Shifting Architecture
Jul 13, 2015

sudents in conversation with teacher

YI hang out with Interboro Partners architect Dan D'oca as he leads them on a tour of _Holding Pattern_, currently on view at MoMA PS1, July 2011. Photograph by Carda Burke

For some, MoMA PS1 is a familiar place, but with its constant rotation of exhibitions, visiting PS1 is never a repeated experience. Currently on view in the outdoor courtyard is Holding Pattern, a physical realization of what Interboro Partners architect, and our tour guide, Dan D’oca describes as a paradigm shift in architecture: a movement away from independent design and directly toward community awareness. Terms are being redefined and “architecture” in the traditional sense has now grown to include sculpture and urban planning too. Holding Pattern is the epitome of this new concept: equal parts utilitarian and aesthetic, the design provides shade, water, and seating for visitors, while maintaining an environmental and communal focus.

The best thing about the piece (and I say this tentatively, because it’s hard to decide) is its ephemeral quality. Of course, Holding Pattern is fantastic and the whole world should see it, but it wouldn’t be able to achieve the same effect without the plan to disassemble and redistribute its individual pieces once its exhibition time ends. In September, all the components of the project will be going to local institutions, such as the Long Island City School of Ballet and Variety Boys and Girls Club. The piece will live on in separate parts as individual institutions in Queens each adopt a small part of this architectural marvel.

grafitti on side of building

A view of 5 Pointz, the "graffiti Mecca," where graffiti artists from all over the world come to show off their skills, May 2011. Photograph by Diane Exavier

After walking through the PS1 galleries, we made our way to 5 Pointz, which shares a similar philosophy of continuous renovation. The graffiti palace is a lot to digest in one visit, as this multi-faceted building is covered with ever-changing spray paint masterpieces. 

By Rebecca G.