#souvenirs #newnewyorkicons #modelshow @storefrontnyc
Souvenirs: New New York Icons, the second iteration of Storefront’s model show, commissioned 59+ objects that redefine New York’s iconic imagery. Inspired by each of the city’s Community Districts, more than 59 artists, architects, and designers reimagined the referential images that constitute the global perception of the city, proposing new understandings of the urban experience.
Members of the public for the models that best represent new visions and values of the city. See below for the names and descriptions of the winning souvenirs, which will be presented to the Mayor Bill de Blasio as new icons for New York City. Members of the public can also order a miniature version of each souvenir to take home at cost price.
Manhattan Community District #2:
Pop-Up City by Kwong Von Glinow Design Office
Souvenirs: great at recalling the singular, not so great with multitudes.Manhattan’s second Community Board, stretching from Chinatown to Gansevoort Market by way of Noho, Soho, and Greenwich Village, is a cultural salad. What constitutes a souvenir for one of the richest and most diverse set of cultural histories in New York City?
Eschewing the readily iconic, we take a look into just how one remembers CB-2’s eclectic array of neighborhoods: streetscapes awash in romantic hues of dusk and dawn, the silhouette of their rooftops, and the intersections where these cultures converge.
A souvenir that captures such richness cannot assume a singular form. Pop-Up City embraces multiplicity with sixteen intersecting streetscapes that collapse and expand the souvenir from flat visage to a city-in-miniature. Like a pop-up children’s book, the souvenir of the city begins as folded upon itself, with Greenwich Village pressed flatly against Little Italy, and Soho finding itself next to the West Village. As the souvenir unfolds, the intersection of each streetscape acts as an urban hinge; neighborhoods collide as the full view of the street comes to life. The angles that the intersections pass through are reminiscent of the negotiating grid system of the area, holding traces of Manhattan’s early grid system relative to the Hudson River and the 1811 grid that trickles down from Central Park. Unfolded, the city is restored, its streetscapes washed in the pinkish orange of the rising sun, presenting more than a memory of what it looks like, but rather how the city is experienced.
As to what is it for? For that existential crisis afflicting all souvenirs, there are just as many answers as the Pop-Up City has facades. We suggest a pencil holder, but that is by no means the sole function that one could find!
Brooklyn Community District #2:
Un-Sheduled by Al-Hamad Design
There is nothing new under the old sun. Although things do come and go, what makes those things do not. New York’s sidewalk shed is so highly defined in its physical construction and in its symbolism to the piece of land it defiantly stands in front of. It laps up the notion that it is literally supporting proof of current change; a figure of progress and metamorphosis. New York has always adapted, imagined, and followed through; it thrives on this rapid strife for evolution, for non-stagnation. New York is thrilled by rapid movement. It can’t stop swimming upstream, especially if it couldn’t.
We fall in love with its constant disappointment because it is simultaneously a tremendous source of surprise. Aren’t we? Deeply in love with it.
The sidewalk shed gives us no promise or certainty, but neither does New York. That is why we live through the discomfort of it all-discomfort motivates and pushes us. It makes us care. This simple shed brings out emotion like no other object in this great city can, and it is everywhere. Often an accidental shelter, it may be terrifying, or perhaps even annoying. Yet it is a sign of prospect; it is a human being trying her very hardest all on her own.
Brooklyn Community District #8:
The HotH: House of the Homeless by ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles]
New York is represented through a large number of “souvenired” buildings that together shape the collective memory of the city. Most of these buildings are office towers. Very few contain housing, with the recent wave of slender luxury towers being a notable exception – those have actually turned into marketable icons even before being built.
Ironically not a single one of these souvenirs is affordable.
To genuinely represent New York, we must imagine the city beyond the obvious. We should visualize the unseen against a backdrop of the enlarging gap between rich and poor, manifested through the spreading of the luxury condominium, on the one hand, and the impoverished circumstances of many of the city’s inhabitants, on the other. Currently, more than 60,000 citizens don’t have a house to live in. Therefore, the next New York souvenir is a House for the Homeless: the HotH.
The City of New York should be able to provide shelter for all its inhabitants, and the HotH does exactly that. It is conceived of 60,000 apartments within a public infrastructure of 155 collective gardens. It offers a place for all those who are currently sleeping under bridges and in cardboard boxes. The HotH is brutally big, yet human and romantic.
This house is the ultimate understatement: it is a building that is far larger than New York’s largest. It shows a prosperous metropolis that is incapable of distributing its wealth fairly among its citizens.
The HotH is a metropolitan souvenir that does not simply highlight obvious architectural splendor, but instead marks an era where societies and cities are at the crossroads of either becoming territories of segregation or places of shared welfare.
With the HotH, New York will choose to be the latter, adding the first truly affordable souvenir to its collective memory.