State of Tyranny

Thursday March 28, 2019 – Saturday May 4, 2019



Theo Deutinger

March 29th – May 4th, 2019

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY



Saturday, April 13th: 11 am–1 pm / 3 pm–5 pm

Friday, April 19th: 3 pm–5 pm

Saturday, April 20th: 11 am–1 pm

Friday, April 26th: 11 am–1 pm / 3 pm–5 pm


All tours are free of charge and depart from Storefront for Art and Architecture’s gallery space. Learn more and RSVP here.


#stateoftyranny      #tyrannytrail      @storefrontnyc


How do we understand tyranny? Its global presence is felt and heard daily. It permeates news cycles, it defines the plots of television shows, and it has to be explained to our children. Tyranny defines contemporary culture, and though it is often talked about conceptually, its more subtle spatial manifestations have a real impact on our cities and public spaces.


Throughout the world, people, communities, and territories are at risk due to the design of the spaces they inhabit. Despite a steady rise in street-level activism, hostile and defensive design have gradually and quietly transformed our buildings, parks, and homes into sites of surveillance and societal control.


State of Tyranny unveils the methods and tools of urban design that seek to disable public agency in the name of public safety. The exhibition reorients our understandings of the power of the city and state-and the architectures they employ-through an installation in Storefront’s gallery space and a series of walking tours through Lower Manhattan called the Tyranny Trail.


Expanding upon research conducted by Theo Deutinger for his recent publication, Handbook of Tyranny, the exhibition and tours call attention to the spatial effects of tyranny, ultimately aiming to identify methods of control commonly used around the world, and to contextualize their embeddedness within New York City’s urban fabric.



State of Tyranny displays seven categories of control and design used in the service of power, from walls and fences to crowd control to prison cells and more. Through objects and tools such as passports and defensive tree plantings, the installation brings to attention to the ubiquity of oppressive design on global and local scales.


Detailed descriptions of the objects–sourced in part from the dry and technical language used by manufacturers praising the efficiency of these tools–gloss over the fact that their purpose is for the direct or indirect harm of human beings. Subdued by their coldness, the descriptions bring awareness to the ways in which design is abstracted through language that serves to normalize and obscure the objects’ inherent power.


Alongside the installation, videos that display particular objects such as skate deterrents and surveillance cameras will underscore the detrimental impacts of their use in public space. By focusing on the micro-scale tools of tyranny and control, State of Tyranny seeks to recontextualize design-based manifestations of power scattered throughout the city, and to highlight to the specific ways in which the culture of tyranny is present in urban and public spaces around the world.



The Tyranny Trail situates the objects and tools of tyranny locally, providing a new lens through which seemingly innocuous elements of buildings and neighborhoods are illuminated to participants as directly harmful to collective, communal, and politically active public life.


The Tyranny Trail follows a route through the streets of Lower Manhattan, beginning at Storefront’s gallery space and ending at the World Trade Center Memorial. The trail reiterates and expands upon the examples present in the installation, further conveying their implications for urban development and public use.


The tours, guided by local artists and researchers whose work addresses related issues, will highlight methods of control such as roadblocks, wedge barriers, and other anti-terror measures. Tours will also highlight smaller-scale “quality of life” interventions that are more inconspicuous in our urban context, such as anti-skateboarding devices, anti-homeless bench design, and anti-graffiti paint.


A map of the Tyranny Trail, provided at Storefront’s gallery space, will outline the route and contextualize each stop on the tour, enabling visitors to explore the Tyranny Trail on their own outside of scheduled tour times.



State of Tyranny and the Tyranny Trail are an expansion upon the research conducted for Handbook of Tyranny by Theo Deutinger, which addresses how elements of power are present in both the visual and logistical language of our cities and spaces. Through graphic illustrations, maps, diagrams, and other visualizations, the publication provides insight into the relationship between political power, territoriality, and systematic cruelties.



Theo Deutinger is an architect, writer, and designer of socio-cultural studies. He is the founder and head of TD, an office that combines architecture with research, visualization, and conceptual thinking at all scales, from global planning, urban master plans, and architecture to graphic design and journalism. Deutinger has written about the transformation of urban cultures through the consumption and influence of contemporary media. His work has been published in Mark, Wired, and Domus, and has been exhibited in Future Fictions Z33 (Hasselt, 2014), the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (Shenzhen/Hong Kong, 2014) and the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Deutinger has held teaching positions at Bauhaus (Dessau), Harvard GSD (Cambridge) and the Strelka Institute (Moscow). Currently, he teaches at the University of Art and Design Linz (Austria) and the Design Academy Eindhoven (Netherlands).




State of Tyranny by Theo Deutinger. Commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture, 2019. Based on research presented in Handbook of Tyranny, 2018 by Theo Deutinger and Lars Müller Publishers.


Exhibition Concept and Design: Theo Deutinger and Brendan McGetrick

Exhibition Design Assistance: Stefanos Filippas, Jolande Kirschbaum

Research Assistance: Filip Arnsberg, Marlene Deutinger, Marie-Luise Muyselaar, Arseniy Sverdlov

Graphic Design: Studio Lin

State of Tyranny Team: Theo Deutinger and Brendan McGetrick, with Filip Arnsberg, Marlene Deutinger, Stefanos Filippas, Jolande Kirschbaum, Marie-Luise Muyselaar, Arseniy Sverdlov

Handbook of Tyranny Team: Joan Alcobé Alonso, Liam Cooke, Theo Deutinger, Stefanos Filippas, Marilia Kaisar, Jolande Kirschbaum, Eliza Mante, Vasiliki Mavrikaki, Tomasz Świetlik, Ekaterina Vititneva


Storefront for Art and Architecture

José Esparza Chong Cuy, Executive Director and Chief Curator

Jinny Khanduja, Deputy Director

Jessica Kwok, Gallery and Operations Manager

Patrick Jaojoco, Development and Communications Associate

Iara Pimenta, Curatorial Fellow

Chialin Chou, Associate Curator of Archives


Interns: Mila Broomberg, Gregory Carroll, Lin Sen Chai, Nadia Chan, Ellen Eberhardt, Daniel Li, Amora McConnell, Yuanyi Zhang



State of Tyranny is supported by Creative Industries Fund NL and the Federal Chancellery of Austria.


Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; KPF; ODA; Rockwell Group; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.

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Subculture: Microbial Metrics and the Multi-Species City

Wednesday September 19, 2018 – Saturday February 16, 2019

Images: Subculture: Microbial Metrics and the Multi-Species City by Kevin Slavin, Elizabeth Hénaff, and David Benjamin / The Living. Photos by Rafael Gamo. Commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture, 2018.CSR_Mon_Mar_27



Kevin SlavinElizabeth HénaffThe Living (David Benjamin, John Locke, Danil Nagy, Damon Lau, Dale Zhao, Ray Wang, Jim Stoddart, Lorenzo Villaggi)


In collaboration with Evan Eisman Company


September 19th, 2018 – February 16th, 2019

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY


Exhibition Opening:

September 18th, 2018

Press and Members Preview: 6 pm – 7 pm [RSVP]

Public Opening: 7 pm – 9 pm


#subculture      @storefrontnyc         @ehenaff         @slavin_public


What are the microbial metrics of our urban spaces?


The species that occupy our cities are much more abundant and diverse than we know. The “Tree of Life” — an index of all biological organisms on earth — indicates that 99% of all life on earth is invisible to the human eye, both unnamed and unnoticed. Archaea and bacteria dominate the genetic weight of nature, consisting of everything from pathogens that give us the flu, to microbes that raise plants from soil.


Unicellular organisms exist at the bottoms of oceans, in subzero environments, and even in radioactive exclusion zones. In our cities, microbial ecologies are uniquely complex. Cities are filled with people, and these people are in turn filled with billions and trillions of microorganisms.


Over the past decade, this notion has become familiar through the popularization of the so-called “human microbiome,” a unique microbiological ecology in the gut of people. But does New York have a gut biome? Is it different from the gut biome of Tokyo? Lagos? Hyderabad? Is the gut biome of Soho distinct from the gut biome of Jackson Heights? How does diversity, demographic and microbial, affect medical, social, and even interpersonal outcomes for the people who live in each city?


The “culture of cleanliness” around health and domestic spaces has framed microbes as pathogens, disease agents to be avoided and repelled at all costs. From the chemical sanitization of sheetrock to the controlled acidity of concrete in new construction, thousands of anti-microbial decisions are compounded in the design and policy of our cities, undermining the importance and actual presence of legitimate bacterial diversity in our urban lives.


Until recently, it’s been impossible to understand exactly what’s around us, inside us, and always under our feet. But recent advances in a field called metagenomics allow us to extract genetic “fingerprints” of microorganisms that we can’t otherwise track, and to shepherd a new understanding of the value of microorganisms, rather than an interest in eliminating them.


Subculture: Microbial Metrics and the Multi-Species City uses this new understanding to reframe the value of the urban landscape around us. The exhibition brings together work in biology, data science, material science, and design to flip the notion of a “healthy” city on its sterile head. An active metagenomic sequencing laboratory in Storefront’s gallery space explores the invisible ecologies of our built environment, provoking deeper analysis of the character and evolution of the abundant genetic landscape of our cities.


Ultimately, Subculture questions the common perceptions of our interactions with the microscopic world, providing insight into the future of design. It proposes future-oriented practices of data collection and interpretation that can produce new modes of environmental perception. The installation in the gallery space, along with the scientific analysis of various sites across the city, gives us a model to broaden our realm of inquiry, pushing for greater resilience, diversity, and responsiveness of the urban fabric, and arguing that the collective future is a lot more collective than any of us can see or imagine.





Subculture utilizes the technological innovations of small-scale genetic sequencing devices to transform Storefront’s gallery space into an active “urban metagenomic sensor.” As a living environment and analytic laboratory, it collects, extracts, sequences, and analyzes the microbial life of its immediate environment.


As a sensing device, the façade of Storefront’s gallery space is supplemented by a simple bio-receptive material: wood. Previously a living host for species such as beetles, worms, fungi, and bacteria, wood—even in its inert state as a building material—is a well-suited home for microbial life due to its molecular composition and its micro and macro shapes.


During the course of the exhibition, accreted genetic material will be extracted from bio-receptive wooden tiles installed on Storefront’s façade and in particular sites across New York City.


The materials, exposed directly to their environments, will undergo an extraction and analysis process designed to indicate the metabolic functions of their geographically-specific microbiome. The microscopic interactions with the built environment may reveal information about the origins, actions, and destinations of the humans and animals in the neighborhood, the pollutants present in the air, and potentially entirely new frameworks yet to be understood.


All of the material choices selected for a given microbiome (and the characteristics of common materials that affect microorganisms, such as texture and pH) are not readily visible to humans. A seemingly flat surface might be riddled with microscopic mountains and valleys. A texture rough to our touch may not present relief when observed at the micro scale. How do we design materials that aim to host these microorganisms, taking into account the sensibilities and needs of multiple species?


Subculture provides insight into these challenges. The gallery space is divided into three zones:

        MODELS: an introductory area that frames the ideas and issues of microbial scale and species in our cities
        METRICS: a working laboratory that features the equipment and processes used in metagenomics experiments
        MAPS: a space of real-time analysis and visualization of the data gathered in the exhibition, revealing specific species and functions


On the facade, wood tiles cut from standard lumber are deliberately eroded through sandblasting at various depths. Unlike milling or cutting, sandblasting enhances the variation in wood by eroding soft areas and leaving behind hard areas, revealing the unique characteristics of each piece of wood.


The tiles are assembled on the panels of Storefront’s facade, forming a pattern of diverse microclimates. Each microclimate has distinct grains and knots that form different pockets of shade and moisture, collecting and hosting microbes throughout the duration of the exhibition. These microbes are present in the micro texture on the surface of the wood, through deep channels in the wood grain, and through twisting fins that serve as a filter for air passing between the exterior and interior of the gallery.


Eschewing our common modes of cleanliness and sterility, the façade installation provokes us to think of buildings as complex and living. How do we transform that which is inert, flat, and uniform be be into something alive and textured? As our methods, tools, and mindsets for design shift, we move toward the imagination of a new and living forms of architecture.


Subculture projects a bioreceptive consciousness of cities and spaces, exposing the public to an invisible layer of analysis that is rewriting our understanding of the health, ecology, and identity of our buildings and spaces.





Kevin Slavin was the Founding Chief Science and Technology Officer for The Shed as well as the Founder of the Playful Systems group at MIT’s Media Lab, where he retains a Research Affiliate title. As an entrepreneur, he has founded and co-founded several companies, including Area/Code, one of the earliest pioneers of geolocative gaming, acquired to become the New York office of Zynga in 2011. He is one of the founding editors and is on the Editorial Board of the MIT Press Journal of Design and Science, and is on the board of The Cooper Union, where he was Vice-Chair between 2014 and 2016. He co-developed the Urban Computing class at NYU’s ITP. and has taught at ITP, Cooper Union, MIT, and Fabrica, among others.


Dr. Elizabeth Hénaff is a computational biologist and assistant professor at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. At the center of her research is a fascination with the way living beings interact with their environment. She has made contributions to understanding how plants respond to the force of gravity, how genome structure changes in response to stress, and most recently has turned her attention to the ubiquitous and invisible microbial component of our environment. This inquiry has produced a body of work that ranges from scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, to projects with landscape architects, to working as an artist in environments from SVA to the MIT Media Lab. She teaches courses in BioDesign in the Integrated Digital Media department at NYU Tandon.


The Living is a design studio and an experiment in living architecture. Its work focuses on expanding the definition of environmental sustainability through the frameworks of biology, computation, and a circular economy. The studio has won design awards from the American Institute of Architects, the Architectural League, the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, the Museum of Modern Art, Ars Electronica, the German Federal Government, and Holcim Foundation. Recent projects include the Embodied Computation Lab (a new building for research on sensors and robotics) and Hy-Fi (a branching tower made of a new type of biodegradable brick). A monograph about the studio, Now We See Now: Architecture and Research by The Living, will be published by The Monacelli Press in Fall 2018. The studio team is: David Benjamin (Founding Principal), John Locke, Danil Nagy, Damon Lay, Dale Zhao, Jim Stoddart, Ray Wang, and Lorenzo Villaggi.


Evan Eisman Company is a design, fabrication, and finishing studio based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard that specializes in incorporating blast finishes and engraving into art, architecture, and design. The studio pursues innovative, high quality work in a diverse array of materials, and values creative collaboration within its team and with clients. The studio’s projects range from monumental glass murals to jewel-like engravings, and they can be found throughout New York City in museums, parks, residences, and retail spaces. Evan Eisman Company has been developing its sandblast works since 1998.






Exhibition Concept, Design, and Research:

Kevin Slavin, Elizabeth Hénaff, and The Living (David Benjamin, John Locke, Danil Nagy, Damon Lau, Dale Zhao, Ray Wang, Jim Stoddart, Lorenzo Villaggi)


With Collaboration and Support From:
Evan Eisman Company

Hénaff Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering


Production Assistance:

David Hecht

Nishant Jacob


Storefront for Art and Architecture:

Eva Franch i Gilabert, Former Chief Curator

Jinny Khanduja, Interim Director
Max Lauter, Programs Director
Chialin Chou, Associate Curator of Archives
Iara Pimenta, Curatorial Fellow
Interns: Yuki Ito, Kristen Kubecka, Kris Lee, Amora McConnell, Jacqueline Mix, Kayla Montes de Oca, Morgan Parrish, Yifeng Wang, Christina Zau




Subculture: Microbial Metrics and the Multi-Species City is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Pro-bono and institutional support for this exhibition is kindly provided by Evan Eisman Company and the Hénaff Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.
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Architecture Books

Tuesday June 19, 2018 – Saturday August 25, 2018

June 20th – August 25th, 2018

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY


June 19th Exhibition Opening:

Press and Members Preview: 6 pm – 7 pm

Public Opening: 7 pm – 9 pm


As part of the first edition of the New York Architecture Book Fair, Storefront for Art and Architecture presents Architecture Books – Yet to be Written, an exhibition that invites us to reflect upon the cultural contribution of architecture through the medium of the book from 1982 to today. With an archeological and projective twist, the installation seeks to celebrate and evaluate both the existing and the missing volumes of a history still in the writing.


Storefront was founded in 1982 as an alternative platform for discourse and debate that brings important issues to the forefront, and that extends beyond ideological and disciplinary boundaries. The period of exploration for the first edition of the New York Architecture Book Fair coincides with this recent history, taking the last 35 years as the starting point for a discussion about our contemporaneity. The series of programs organized as part of the book fair produce a forum for discussion and debate about the books that allow us to understand architectural discourse in a wider cultural, social, and geographical context. The project focuses on the ways in which architects, as well as urban planners, landscape architects, and all professions and people who engage in the making of places and spaces, contribute to our understanding of the built environment.


Questioning the idea of the canon, this project seeks to broaden the existing references for architecture culture, which have served to homogenize architectural discourse. With the purpose of opening up the conversation to new ideas, Storefront launched a Global Survey of Architecture Books that reached more than 1600 scholars, critics, museum directors, historians, and others from 98 countries, asking them to contribute nominations of books from the past 35 years that are fundamental to the development of ideas and culture in architecture.


A selection of the nominated books, with brief statements that contextualize their relevance, are presented in the installation as the structural support for a series of bookshelves that will be populated by additional publications throughout the duration of the exhibition. The bookshelves are affixed to the rotating facade panels, designed by Vito Acconci and Steven Holl, that connect the street to the inside of Storefront’s gallery space. Mostly empty to start, the shelves will densify over the course of the exhibition with a growing selection of nominated books submitted by invited groups, including non-profit organizations, students, independent publishers, creative collectives, and gallery visitors. Ultimately, however, the space will remain relatively sparse in relation to the monolithic shelves, reminding us that many of the crucial books are yet to be written.


A series of visualizations upon the walls of the gallery space present the scope of the project and prompt visitors to actively suggest, think about, and reflect upon the contemporary context of architectural publications.


The exhibition, along with the first edition of the New York Architecture Book Fair, provokes us to reimagine our personal collections, the existing infrastructures of cultural production and dissemination, and the algorithms that recommend our next reading material.


Architecture Books – Yet to be Written serves as the point of entry for journeys through various spaces of knowledge exchange throughout the city. While inhabiting the gallery space, visitors learn more about the programs that constitute the first edition of the New York Architecture Book Fair, including:


Yet to be Written

Alongside nominated books, the installation presents a digital repository of book covers and titles for retroactive manuscripts and projective volumes – books that we should have written, but that we never did, and books yet to be written, that we still should. This growing collection was first presented at the launching conference of the book fair, Architecture Books / Yet to be Written, in the fall of 2017 at Cooper Union’s Great Hall.


The repository includes contributions by: Diana Agrest, Stan Allen, Amale Andraos, Henry Cobb, Beatriz Colomina, Reinier de Graaf, Peggy Deamer, Elizabeth Diller, Kenneth Frampton, Sanford Kwinter, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, Ana Miljacki, Enrique Norten, Joan Ockman, Spyros Papapetros, Nader Tehrani, Bernard Tschumi, Anthony Vidler, Rafael Viñoly, Mark Wigley, Marion Weiss, Eyal Weizman, and James Wines.


Maps: Global Survey of Architecture Books

1600 international academics, practitioners, and scholars from 98 countries have been invited to make nominations in a new Global Survey of Architecture Books. The survey continues to expand and evolve, and will unveil volumes from many cultural contexts that contribute to a better understanding of local and global modes of knowledge production. The maps reveal the geographies of the nominators, the responses, and the books nominated. Conveying the potential for diversity of our sources of knowledge, the maps attempt to visualize the origins of the architecture books on display and of contemporary architecture culture.


Nominate Now

An online platform open to everyone, Nominate Now acts as a counterpoint to (and complements) the Global Survey of Architecture Books, which was specifically sent to established figures in the field. Nominate Now invites everyone to nominate titles they believe should be considered for inclusion in the growing library of Architecture Books. To participate, see here, or visit Storefront’s gallery space during the exhibition.


Bookstore Network

A series of pop-up architecture book collections are presented at independent bookstores and cultural institutions throughout the city. Each pop-up is curated by an emerging international architect, and together, they aim to reinforce the existing network of spaces in the city dedicated to the dissemination of culture, inviting these institutions to place emphasis upon and expand their own and their visitors’ familiarity with architecture books and publications.


Artbook at MOMA PS1 – Dream the Combine
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe – Florian Idenburg
McNally Jackson Independent Booksellers – Manuel Herz
New Museum Store – Oana Stanescu

Revolution Books – Miguel Robles Duran
Rizzoli Bookstore – Kunle Adeyemi
Spoonbill and Sugartown Booksellers – Carla Juacaba
Albertine – Umberto Napolitano / LAN
Word Up Community Bookshop – Interboro Partners


Salons: Personal Collections

Storefront presents a series of private salons hosted in the homes of prominent New York City-based architects. Each event, also available to the public as a podcast and transcript, explores a selection of books from the host’s personal library, open to audiences for the first time. The salons are structured as informal conversations with invited guests. Past salons have taken place in the libraries of Bernard Tschumi, Anthony Vidler, and Daniel Libeskind. For more information about upcoming salons, see here to join the New York Architecture Book Club.


Reading Room

Storefront has partnered with the New York Public Library to offer a space in which visitors can read the books nominated as part of the Global Survey of Architecture Books. The library, as a space designed for the storage and reading of books, also offers the ability for reflection and reimagination of the volumes that occupy our centers of knowledge. The Reading Room is located in Room 300 of the Art and Architecture space at New York Public Library’s main branch on 42nd Street in Manhattan.





Exhibition and Project Team:


Exhibition Design: Abruzzo Bodziak Architects

Graphic Identity: Pentagram – Natasha Jen / Ran Zheng / Tiffany Yuen

Curator: Eva Franch i Gilabert

Associate Curator: Carlos Minguez Carrasco

Strategic Development and Outreach: Jinny Khanduja

Producer: Max Lauter

Design Assistance: Michael Cohen, Jacqueline Hall, Yasemin Parlar

Curatorial and Production Assistance: Iara Pimenta, Feiyi Bei, Roo Chen, Yuki Ito, Juan Carlos Javier, Kris Li, Jacqueline Mix, Kayla Montes de Oca, Cemre Tokat


About the Design Team:


Abruzzo Bodziak Architects (ABA) is an internationally recognized New York-based practice with experience ranging from civic and cultural projects to homes and exhibitions.Through both projects and speculative investigations, ABA creates experiences that are rooted in place and time. Their work is defined by an innovative approach to contextuality, a relentless focus on detail, and a strong conceptual viewpoint. Established by Emily Abruzzo and Gerald Bodziak, ABA has received numerous recognitions, including the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers, AIA New Practices New York, Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard, and Curbed’s Groundbreakers Award. A proponent of civic engagement, the office is included in New York City Department of Design and Construction’s Design Excellence Program.



Pentagram is a design firm and a supporter of Storefront. Since 2012, Pentagram has collaborated with Storefront on many projects, ranging from identity design to publications and exhibition. Some of these include OfficeUS, the Manifesto Series, Closed Worlds, and the New York Architecture Book Fair.  





The first edition of the New York Architecture Book Fair is supported by the New York Architecture Book Club, an invitation-based network of individuals and firms that serve as the key group behind the book fair. For a full list of members, see here.


Architecture Books – Yet to Be Written and the Bookstore Network are supported by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, JESCO Lighting Group, Architectural Association Publications, ACTAR, Artbook | D.A.P., Dafne Editora, Harvard University Press, I. B. Tauris, Lars Müller Publishers, Park Books, Rizzoli Publications, University of California Press, University of Minnesota Press, Verso Books, Thames & Hudson, Reaktion Books, Editorial Gustavo Gili, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, Marsilio,The MIT Press, The Monacelli Press, Tongji University Press, University of Chicago Press, Yale University Press, and Zone Books.


Programming partners for the New York Architecture Book Fair include The Cooper Union, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, e-flux Architecture, and the New York Public Library.


Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.


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Sex and the So-Called City

Friday February 2, 2018 – Saturday March 31, 2018

Office for Political Innovation in collaboration with Imagen Subliminal

Sex and the So-Called City. Office for Political Innovation. Image by Imagen Subliminal. Storefront for Art and Architecture, 2018.





Andrés Jaque / Office For Political Innovation in collaboration with Miguel de Guzmán / Imagen Subliminal


February 2nd – March 31st, 2018

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY


February 1st Exhibition Opening:

Press and Members Preview: 6 pm – 7 pm

Public Opening: 7 pm – 9 pm


March 31st Closing Event

Salon Series: The Big Discussion

Moderated by Andrés Jaque


#sexandthesocalledcity   @storefrontnyc    @andres_jaque     @imagensubliminal


What are the social, environmental, and political consequences of our urban lifestyles?


This year, Sex and the City, New York City’s most influential archisocial manifesto, turns twenty. The series, an often prescient telling of the cultural trends that have played out in the two decades since its release, follows the glitz and un-glamour of its four main characters through a tumultuous period of transformation for our beloved city: the late 1990s and early 2000s.


For Sex and the So-Called CityAndrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation in collaboration with Miguel de Guzmán / Imagen Subliminal, make use of lifestyle forensics to unveil and present the underlying themes of Sex and the City, unblackboxing New York City’s obvious (and therefore invisible) blueprints. These investigations collectively offer a groundbreaking – and sometimes shocking – understanding of the outcomes and impacts of contemporary urban life.


The exhibition dives deeply into issues such as real estate development, energy generation, reproduction, the hypercapitalization of society, and of course, sex, opening up conversations about the relationship of these issues to design, architecture, and the production of the city. In a time when our experiences and our surroundings are highly designed, what does New York City, the ultimate capital of choice, offer us? How many degrees of separation from questionable ethical practices do we feel comfortable with? How has the contemporary image of the city created new forms of design thinking and practice?


This forensic study of the city’s contemporary culture is presented in the form of a transmedia studio with 360-degree videos capturing interior and exterior landscapes that play host to the narratives and issues the series explores. Alongside the media room is an installation of evidentiary objects comprising the complex network of materiality that occupies and animates our urban context. A public program with two major events will utilize the space and the items to stage and film four new episodes on particular themes, capturing the objects, bodies, and actions of our lived experiences in the city.


Allowing for sometimes uncomfortable reflections about the consequences of our choices and designs, Sex and the So-Called City portrays snapshots of a new urban lifestyle, provoking us to contemplate the depths beneath the images that inundate our fictional – and real – imaginary of New York City.



The exhibition will present two public events, a series of presentations and conversations from experts in different fields that further expand upon the seminal urban themes of the series. These include:


Saturday, March 31st: Marathon of Scales and Marathon of Sections


Marathon of Scales will look at the way Columbus Circle became the location where International Fertilization, as a transurban way to simultaneously redesign the biology, the image and the political status of new humans was invented. Starting from the scale of the the spermatozoon, the session will explore the participation of interior, building, urban, territorial and environmental design in this invention and the political implications this process comprises. In this process, the marathon will make emphasis in the way New York apartments have become the ultimate location of sexual desire, the communication techniques used to sexualize them as a commercial and branding tool, but also the way they have become the default scenario for porn and the way they attract hookup apps users.


Marathon of Sections will connect the project of purifying New York air and waters (and the relocation of NY’s toxicity) with the project of rebranding the city as a location for billionaires. It will also interrogate the development of high-end residential condominium towers in NY, the narrative that supported that development and the NY’s evolution from the 2000s as the result of an accumulation of transformations in the way to construct collective ways to perceive and produce images. The development of specific forms of windows (helicopter views), surveillance, tracking mapping and monitoring. From the skies to the underground, the marathon will deal with a great variety of innovations that transformed NY, New Yorkers, its territorial dimension and the neighboring states underground mineral dimension.






Office for Political Innovation

The Office for Political Innovation, a Madrid/New York based practice directed by Andrés Jaque, develops architectural projects that bring inclusivity into daily life. All of the practice’s architectures can be seen as durable assemblages of the diversity that comprises ordinary life.


The practice received the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in 2016 and the Silver Lion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, and has designed award-winning projects such as Plasencia Clergy House (Dionisio Hernández Gil Prize), House in Never Never Land (Mies van der Rohe European Award Finalist), Tupper Home (X Bienal Española de Arquitectura y Urbanismo), and Escaravox (COAM Award 2013). In 2015, Andrés Jaque was the winner of MoMA PS1’s Young Architect Program, with the project Cosmo.


The Office for Political Innovation’s work has instigated crucial debates for contemporary architecture. In 2012, the Museum of Modern Art of New York (MoMA) acquired the project IKEA Disobedients as the first architectural performance to be part of its collection. In 2013, the practice presented Superpowers of Ten at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool at RED CAT / CalArts Center for Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles, and Hänsel & Gretel’s Arenas at La Casa Encendida in Madrid. In 2012, the practice unblackboxed Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion with the intervention PHANTOM: Mies as Rendered Society. In 2011, the research and prototype-making project Sweet Parliament Home was presented at the Gwangju Biennale, and in 2010, the installation Fray Home Home was displayed at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennial.


The Office for Political Innovation is the author of the publications PHANTOM: Mies as Rendered Society, Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool, Dulces Arenas Cotidianas, and Eco-Ordinary: Codes for Everyday Architectural Practices and Everyday Politics. Their work has been published in many key media outlets, including A+U, Domus, El Croquis, the New York Times, and Vogue, among others. 


Miguel de Guzmán / Imagen Subliminal

Imagen Subliminal Architectural Photography + Film was founded by architect and architectural photographer Miguel de Guzmán. The firm, comprised of Miguel de Guzman and Rocío Romero, is a New York and Madrid-based practice whose work is commissioned by many internationally renowned architecture, construction, and real estate firms.


Imagen Subliminal’s photographs have been published worldwide in print magazines such as Architect, Dwell, El Croquis, Arquitectura Viva, A+U Japan, Domus, Casabella, Mark, C3, and many other books and newspapers. The practice also  collaborates with online media as Archdaily, Dezeen, Designboom, and Divisare.


Imagen Subliminal’s film work has been displayed at MAXXI Rome, Centre Pompidou Paris, and architecture film festivals in New York, Los Angeles, Budapest, Santiago, and Seoul.


Exhibition Team

Research: Andrés Jaque, Paola Pardo

Fact Checking: Paola Pardo

Object Collection: Paola Pardo, Roberto González

Coordination: Roberto González

Design: Laura Mora, Felipe Arango, Ayushi Drolia, Roberto García, Marta Jarabo, Pablo Maldonado, Solé Mallol, Valentina Marín

Cinematography and Video Installation: Miguel de Guzmán / Imagen Subliminal

Music Art: Emiliano Caballero

Video Art (Episodes): Óscar Espín

Voice Overs: Elizabeth Sanjuan

Sound Editing: Robin Groove

Text Editing: Walter Ancarrow

Video Projection System and Installation: Integrated Visions

Fabrication and Installation: Asa Pingree


Storefront Team

Executive Director and Chief Curator: Eva Franch

Associate Curator: Carlos Mínguez Carrasco

Director of Strategic Development: Jinny Khanduja

Programs Producer: Max Lauter



Pro-bono support for this exhibition is kindly provided by Integrated Visions.


Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.


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Marching On: The Politics of Performance

Saturday April 14, 2018 – Saturday June 9, 2018

With Bryony Roberts, Mabel O. Wilson, and the Marching Cobras of New York, commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture


Marching On Performance Teaser, November 2017. Commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture. Video by Feran Mendoza and Chris Balmer.




April 14th – June 9th, 2018

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY


April 14th Exhibition Opening:

Press and Members Preview: 4 pm – 5 pm

Performance by the Marching Cobras: 5 – 5:30 pm

Public Opening: 5 pm – 7 pm


#marchingon     #politicsofperformance     @storefrontnyc


Marching On: The Politics of Performance explores the histories, driving forces, and legacy of marching and organized forms of performance. African-American marching bands have long been powerful agents of cultural and political expression, celebrating collective identities and asserting rights to public space and visibility.


Historically rooted in military training exercises and combat formations, African-American marching bands and drumlines honored service in U.S. conflicts and highlighted the absence of civil rights despite sacrifices to defend the nationWhile their movements, costumes, colors, and iconography have radically expanded since the nineteenth century to incorporate other forms of performance including dance lines, hip-hop, and step choreography, they still remain connected to a lineage of marching as political expression.


Commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture, Bryony Roberts and Mabel O. Wilson have created a research project and exhibition that explores the crucial role of the community’s collective movements as acts of both cultural expression and political resistance. The project was inaugurated with a series of performances that interwove echoes of the 1917 Silent March against racial violence with references to the revered Harlem Hellfighters. These performances were developed in collaboration with the Marching Cobras of New York, a Harlem-based after-school drumline and dance team, and presented in partnership with the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance as part of Performa 17. Read more about the performances here.


For the exhibition, Roberts and Wilson combine the many layers of the research and performance project into a spatial installation. Continuing and expanding upon the theme of camouflage, the exhibition displays volumes of custom-printed fabric in hybridized patterns. In part, marching bands served as a form of camouflage that enabled African-Americans to gather and occupy public spaces when otherwise prohibited during the era of Jim Crow segregation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In response, the exhibition’s patterned textiles merge military camouflage with the geometric paving patterns of Marcus Garvey Park, the site of the inaugural Marching On performances. Changing color along the length of the gallery, the fabric creates pockets of space for thematic topics related to the history of race and urban public space. By layering photographs and text into the graphic patterns, the exhibition’s fabric panels play with the oscillation between visibility and invisibility.


Marching On: The Politics of Performance, April 2018. Commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture. Video by Feran Mendoza and Chris Balmer.

About the Artists


Bryony Roberts is an architectural designer and scholar. She earned a BA from Yale University and an MArch from Princeton University. Her work has been supported by the Graham Foundation and was featured in the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. She has published widely in design and mainstream publications, and has taught at Rice University, SCI-Arc, and the Oslo School of Architecture. In 2015, she was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Roberts’s practice integrates architecture, art, preservation, and performance to activate and critically engage historical buildings and urban spaces. With projects at sites such as Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, Federal Plaza in Chicago, Government Quarter in Oslo, and Neutra VDL House in Los Angeles, her practice operates across many scales, from temporary installations to urban design. This range aims to foster social activation of historical sites and critical discourses on how we preserve and change existing structures.


Mabel O. Wilson navigates her transdisciplinary practice between the fields of architecture, art, and cultural history. She is a professor of architectural design and theory/history at Columbia University’s GSAPP, where she directs the graduate program in advanced architectural research. She co-directs GSAPP’s Global Africa Lab and the Project on Spatial Politics. She also holds an appointment as a senior fellow at the Institute for Research in African American Studies. Wilson’s design experiments, scholarly research, and advocacy projects focus upon space, politics and cultural memory in black America; raciality, technology, and aesthetics; and the globalization of architectural practice.


The Marching Cobras is a youth performance group based in Harlem that includes a 25-person drum line and a 25-person dance line. The Marching Cobras will be the lead artists involved in the performance and exhibition. Workshops with the group will guide the collaborative design of the live performances. Their mission is to “enrich lives of youth by providing opportunities for artistic expression and leadership development through music, marching band, step, dance, and much more.”




Marching On: The Politics of Performance is commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture.


Exhibition Team

Exhibition Curators & Designers: Bryony Roberts, Mabel O. Wilson

Performers: Marching Cobras of NY

Exhibition Design Assistant: Sadie Dempsey

Graphic Design: Once-Future Office

Video Production: Ferran de Mendoza

Photography: Jenica Heintzelman


Storefront Team

Chief Curator: Eva Franch

Strategic Development: Jinny Khanduja

Associate Curator: Carlos Mínguez Carrasco

Programs Producer: Max Lauter


Project Support

Marching On: The Politics of Performance is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.


General Support

Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Roger Ferris + Partners; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.



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Photo: The Marching Cobras’ drum line in Harlem, 2014. Courtesy of Carlo Allegri/Reuters.

Souvenirs: New New York Icons

Saturday September 16, 2017 – Saturday December 9, 2017

September 16th – December 9th, 2017

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY


September 16th Exhibition Opening:

Public Viewing: 11 am – 6 pm

Public Opening: 7 pm – 9 pm [Facebook]


VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ICON (to be delivered to Mayor de Blasio)




As a contemporary form of commercialized nostalgia, souvenirs are the ultimate cliche in the representation of a city. Pocket-sized, acritical, and cheap, they populate tourist sites all over the world with a patina of innocence.


Producing collective imaginaries made up of lines that follow the profiles of superlative sculptures, buildings, and stories, souvenirs have become the reference points that anchor a particular culture in time, representing (consciously or not) political, cultural, and social values.


Souvenirs: New New York Icons, the second iteration of Storefront’s model show, commissions 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 have reimagined the referential images that constitute the global perception of the city, proposing new understandings of the urban experience.


Challenging the symbols that have permeated the gift shop, Souvenirs presents critical approaches to the shifting and complex iconography of the city. The exhibition introduces new objects and, with them, new ways to relate to form, matter, affect, representation, and agency.


Visitors to the exhibition will be asked to cast a vote for the object that best represents their visions and values of the city. The top three souvenirs will be presented to the Mayor Bill de Blasio as new icons for New York City.


About the Installation

Storefront’s Iconic facade, designed by Steven Holl and Vito Acconci in 1994, has become a referent for the architectural community worldwide. The facade project, consisting of a series of pivoting panels opening the gallery walls onto the sidewalk, was built with an innovative concrete mixture, disrupting preconceived notions of heaviness attached to concrete. Taking this notion of postmateriality to its extreme, MOS Architects has produced a series of operations that open up the facade and the gallery space (through literal holes and material and textural transformations), bringing it into conversation with its urban and architectural context. With a series of transfers (material, formal, and spatial) between concrete, stone, glass, wood, plastic, and air, the installation brings the logic behind the aesthetics of recycling into a new formal language that invites us to reflect upon notions of signification and legibility in the built environment.


Exhibition Design by MOS Architects

Graphic Design by Studio Lin



IIIII Columns

Abruzzo Bodziak Architects
Afaina de Jong / AFARAI & Innavisions
Al-Hamad Design (Nanu Al-Hamad / Kaeli Streeter)
Alan Ruiz
Ania Jaworska with Lucia Lee

Antonas Office
Atelier Van Lieshout
Caroline Woolard
Charlap Hyman & Herrero
Frank Benson
Future Expansion
Hayley Eber
Huy Bui
Ibañez Kim
Jenny Sabin Studio: Jenny E. Sabin, Jingyang Liu Leo
Jerome W Haferd and K Brandt Knapp
Kwong Von Glinow Design Office
Leigha Dennis
Liz Phillips
Local Projects
Lydia Xynogala
Michael Wang
Michelle Chang
Midnight Commercial
Miguel Robles-Durán (Cohabitation Strategies)
N H D M / Nahyun Hwang + David Eugin Moon
Naomi Fisher
New Affiliates

Oana Stanescu Family NY
Office III

Office Kovacs
Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects (OPA)
Once–Future Office
P.R.O. – Peterson Rich Office
Patrick Meagher & Lenka Ilic
​Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large
Slash Projects
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Sonia Leimer
Studio Christian Wassmann
Studio Meem
Talbot & Yoon
Young & Ayata and iheartblob
ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles]


About the Model Show

Following a trilogy of drawing shows, Storefront’s second annual group model show examines three-dimensional methods of representation in architecture, with the city of New York as its experimental playground. Each edition of the show invites participants to reflect upon a specific topic that encapsulates critical conversations in design and contemporary culture. In each iteration, architects, artists, and designers interrogate the model as a method and means by which notions of representation and production can be understood, from aesthetic cliches to disciplinary obsessions to data visualization, in order to unveil the power of architecture and its relationship to the politics of the city. The first edition of the model show, Sharing Models Manhattanisms, examined growing anxieties behind the sharing economy and its untapped potential for public collectivity.


Storefront Team

Curator: Eva Franch

Associate Curator: Carlos Mínguez Carrasco

Project Coordinator: Max Lauter

Development and Outreach: Jinny Khanduja

Interns: Estefania Acosta, Asia Bazdireva, Kate Chen, Lafina Eptaminitaki, Yuki He, Yu-Yang Huang, Juan Carlos Javier, Amela Parcic, Luca Smith Senise, Yuki Tori, Ann Mirjam Vaikla




Souvenirs: New New York Icons




Exhibition Support

Souvenirs: New New York Icons features Marmoreal by Max Lamb, made possible through the generous support of Dzek.




Material for this exhibition is kindly provided by Bendheim (glass) and Vycom (plastic). 3D printing is supported by Shapeways.


Logo Pantone-3245-green-teal JPEG





General Support

Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Roger Ferris + Partners; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.


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Temple of Manufacturing

Wednesday June 7, 2017 – Saturday August 5, 2017



Temple of Manufacturing

Presented by Storefront for Art and Architecture

in Collaboration with COMPANY (Aamu Song & Johan Olin)


June 7th, 2017 – August 5th, 2017

97 Kenmare St, New York, NY


#templeofmanufacturing   @storefrontnyc  @com_pa_ny





“That which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art.”

Walter Benjamin

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction


In the 1950s, in the midst of modern discourse regarding industrial design, Charles and Ray Eames aimed to produce “the best, for the most, for the least.” More than fifty years later, global pro­cesses of mass production have complicated the democratic aspirations that the Eames sought to espouse.
In our current interdependent global economy, the designations “Designed by X,” “Made by X,” “Manufactured by X,” “Made in X,” and “Product of X” are increasingly complex. While their origins are based in trade agreements and intellectual property rights, they also carry the weight of serv­ing as symbols of economic protectionism, human exploitation, and ecological malpractice, among other issues.
Recently, we have witnessed the re-emergence of more “localized” forms of production. Handmade items, arts and crafts, and light manufacturing have made a resurgence in our contem­porary product-based markets. Among the reasons for this include responses against the perils of global mass production, reactions to the consumerist philosophies of the 80s and 90s, and the preservation of manufacturing processes and their associated identities of place. Combined with increasing preferences and desires for “artisanal” and “local” goods, these phenomena have changed the way we make things.
Temple of Manufacturing presents COMPANY’s long-term project: SECRETS. Traveling to remote sites around the world to learn crafting processes unique to particular industries and places, the duo (comprised of Aamu Song and Johan Olin) has collaborated over the last decade with a variety of communities to rethink the very processes and knowledge embedded in these places. Applying this knowledge to new and unexpected designs, COMPANY’s work creates an intersection between the mastery of traditional technique and the invention of a new, poetic, and personal material and object-specific vocabulary.
For the installation at Storefront, COMPANY presents its own Temple of Manufacturing, an installa­tion that reflects the feeling of sacredness that the duo encountered while visiting spaces of pro­duction all over the world. Raw materials, drawings, objects, designs, and process documents are presented alongside a series of frescoes painted in situ that narrate some of the journeys, topics, and works that structure their research.
Temple of Manufacturing presents objects conceived and produced as composite figures from COMPANY’s own design methods and their trips to Japan, Russia, Finland, Estonia, and the Amish communities of Pennsylvania. Part an artist’s travel log, part a sanctuary for the maker’s masters, and somewhere between an archive, an exhibition, and a store (the ultimate temple of contempo­rary capitalism) the installation reflects upon “the aura of the work of art” (in this case, the design object), and the hidden processes of design research as related to manual versus mechanized pro­duction.
“Designed by COMPANY,” “Made by COMPANY,” “Manufactured by COMPANY,” “Made with COMPANY,” and “Product of COMPANY,” the objects presented in this exhibition are built with love and shared with everyone, maintaining the playfulness that the Eames brought to the world of making, with an eye toward the ethics of production and global design culture.



COMPANY, formed by Aamu Song and Johan Olin, is an art and detective agency from Helsinki, Finland. COMPANY has been discovering manufacturing secrets worldwide for over a decade, working as artists, designers, and producers, and running their own shop (Salakauppa) in Helsinki.




Exhibition Support

Special exhibition support for Temple of Manufacturing is generously provided by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike), the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, and Frame. 


The soundtrack for this exhibition was created by Tuomas Toivonen. Paint has generously been provided by Farrow & Ball.


Beverages for the opening are kindly provided by Tenugin, the spirit of the forest.


Arts Promotion Centre Finland Taike copy
Finnish Cultural Foundation copy FCINY-LOGO Frame Finland copy


General Support

Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Roger Ferris + Partners; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.

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Control Syntax Rio

Monday March 27, 2017 – Saturday May 20, 2017


Control Syntax Rio


Curated and designed by Farzin Lotfi-Jam and Mark Wasiuta
Presented by Storefront for Art and Architecture and Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam.


March 28th, 2017 – May 20th, 2017

97 Kenmare St, New York, NY


#controlsyntaxrio   @storefrontnyc


Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visible sites of “smart city” experimentation. In response to catastrophic natural disasters, calamitous traffic congestion, and urban health epidemics, the Centro de Operações Rio (COR) was designed as a corrective tool and as a new command and control hub that would allow the city to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games. Launched in 2010, COR now monitors its urban camera network and information sensors, gauges optimal traffic patterns, determines landslide risk zones, predicts weather disruptions, and maps disease paths.


Rio’s wild topography, wealth disparities, and aging infrastructure make it an unlikely testing ground for the smooth rationality of urban management that “smart city” rhetoric proclaims. Through COR, the predictable impression of Rio de Janeiro as a lush playground of beaches and samba dancers conflicts with the new image of a Rio governed by smart city control systems. As the city also becomes increasingly marked by extreme police tactics and political protests, Rio appears less a case of urban optimization than a platform for viewing the conflicts that have erupted around urban data management, civil rights, and issues of social control. Yet, COR is also a sign of a new form of participatory civic politics. Citizens may visit the COR building to observe its image screens, data displays, and information collection technologies. In this way, COR serves as a public relations space from which the city broadcasts an image of urban administrative control.


The exhibition shows Rio structured through COR’s control syntax and smart city command processes. This syntax is assembled from seemingly banal “if-then” statements that become surprisingly charged by their encounters with the political and circulatory life of the city. Through COR, the exhibition sees traffic engineering as urban politics and as haunted by potential catastrophe. The exhibition also understands COR as indicative of an important new space of representation for the 21st century city and its emerging computational governmentality.


Exhibition Credits

Curators: Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Mark Wasiuta

Exhibition Design: Sharif Anous, Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Mark Wasiuta

Graphic Design: MTWTF

Exhibition Design and Production Assistance: Florencia Alvarez, Javier Bidot-Betancourt, John Dwyer, Jennifer Komorowski, Chelsea Meyer, Jacqui Robbins, Miranda Römer, Augustine Savage, Jen Wood

Sound Design: Sonic Platforms (Michael Christopher, Max Lauter)

Film Voiceover: Louise Dreier

Audio Recording: Marco Pavão

Videography: Terry Barentsen


This project has been made possible through the initiative and leadership of the teams at Het Nieuwe Instituut, led by Guus Beumer (Artistic Director) and Marina Otero Verzier (Head of Research), and at Storefront, led by Eva Franch (Chief Curator and Executive Director).


About the Curators


Farzin Lotfi-Jam is Principal of farzinfarzin, a multidisciplinary studio that designs spaces, software, and media. He is faculty in the architecture program at Columbia University and holds advanced degrees from Columbia University and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He is a fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart and was previously the 2013-2014 Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan. His research has been funded by the Veski organization and the Graham Foundation, and has been collected by the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, AIGA/NY Annex, the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the Venice Architecture Biennale, among others.


Mark Wasiuta is Co-Director of the MS degree program Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia GSAPP. Over the last decade, as Director of Exhibitions at GSAPP, he has developed a body of research and archival exhibitions that focus on under-examined practices of the postwar period. Recent exhibitions, produced with various collaborators, include  “Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation,” “Environmental Communications: Contact High,” “Information Fall-Out: Buckminster Fuller’s World Game,” and “Les Levine: Bio-Tech Rehearsals 1967-1973.” His work has appeared at the Graham Foundation, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Venice Architecture Biennale, Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and elsewhere. He directs Collecting Architecture Territories, a multi-year research program that analyses global art institutions that have emerged from private collections. Wasiuta is recipient of recent grants from the Asian Cultural Council, the Graham Foundation, and NYSCA.


About Het Nieuwe Instituut
Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to illuminate and map a rapidly changing world while at the same time fostering discussion of topics related to the vast field of design. All the institute’s activities are grounded in the principles of design and innovation – two concepts bound up with changing value systems and conflict. Het Nieuwe Instituut organises exhibitions, lectures and fellowships, carries out research and development projects, and publishes reports on the outcomes of its projects.


Exhibition Support

Control Syntax Rio is presented in New York City as part of a year-long joint cultural crossover program between Storefront for Art and Architecture and Het Nieuwe Instituut. The partnership, supported by the Netherlands Consulate General in New York, seeks to examine the relationships of power between those involved in the construction of the contemporary city through a series of events, exhibitions, and projects to be developed in New York, Rotterdam, and other cities around the world. Control Syntax Rio was commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut, where it was presented from June 2016 to January 2017. Special exhibition support for Control Syntax Rio is generously provided by Samsung and FoyerLive.




Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Roger Ferris + Partners; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.


Paranoia Man in a Rat Fink Room

Wednesday November 2, 2016 – Saturday February 18, 2017

EPSON scanner image

Paranoia Man in a Rat Fink Room

By Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe

Presented by Storefront for Art and Architecture and the New York Comedy Festival


November 2nd, 2016 – February 18th, 2017

97 Kenmare St, New York, NY

Special Preview Performances: November 2nd – 6th

Election Night Public Opening: November 8th, 7 – 9 pm


#paranoiaman     #ratfinkroom     #makenylaugh     @storefrontnyc     @nycomedyfest


Storefront for Art and Architecture is closing its doors for good. The real estate vultures have descended to feed on the malnourished carcass of its signature Kenmare Street space. Its replacement will most likely be a Juice Press supplement administered through fiber-optic eyeliner. The official announcement is that it will be something called SAN SAN. A flagship store for BAMA Cosmetic Pharmaceuticals, OCTOPUS Entheobotanical Data Networks and Fata Morgana Entertainment Systems brought to you in a fancy new package designed by interior starchitect Henri Erkins. “A multiplatform consumer experience where virtual and tactile interaction merge in a new marketing sphere.” A kind of combination Pizza Hut-Taco Bell-Google daydream for the Lower Manhattan demographic. But before the polish of recycled paper, space rock, and smartphone flirtation bring about point-of-purchase orgasms, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe have arranged for an interim scenario.


The overstock of Jungle Video, the now defunct media superstore you may remember from your drive to LAX via La Tijera Boulevard, is coming to Storefront for Art and Architecture for a fire sale of such gray market classics as Linguini is Not a Flower and Thank God For My Forties. A Canal Street-style kiosk of bootleg handbags and toxic perfume will stage a pop-up shop for all manner of DVD, VHS, Compact Disc, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Prada, and perhaps a dime bag of heavily stepped on cocaine if you know the password. But this will only be the first stop on the path to the headlining act: a reprisal of the infamous Rat Fink Room.


The Rat Fink Room, the first dedicated stand-up comedy club on planet earth, opened in September 1963 on 50th St. and 3rd Ave. in New York City. Its proprietors, Morris Levy and Jackie Kannon, imagined an ad hoc gathering place where two-bit insult comics settled scores and “working blue” pushed the limits of good taste.


Jackie Kannon, its ringmeister, was a mobbed-up sycophant comic who felt pressured to buy himself a nose job in the hope of breaking out of the borscht belt. He was not even dimly aware of what might be at stake in the obscenity trials of the time, around such now-classic works as Howl and Naked Lunch. For him, “working blue” was about the money. Morris “The Octopus” Levy, the founder of Birdland and Roulette Records, was a mob connected music business executive who is mostly remembered as a crook who stole from recording artists, and was convicted of extortion and suspected of heroin distribution. Levy used the Rat Fink Room and his other venues as a place to surreptitiously record comedy acts and release records without the comics’ permission. He gave them no portion of the proceeds and threatened bodily harm if they sued. In the spirit of this, Freeman and Lowe have converted the neighbor’s bathroom (Staci, age 12, addicted to synthetic marijuana) into a surveillance headquarters that will keep audio/video recordings of the last days of Storefront.


The Rat Fink Room will be alive again in the twilight of Storefront for Art and Architecture through a series of nights programmed by Caroline Hirsch and the New York Comedy Festival from November 2nd to November 6th.


It is true that the New York City of the 20th century imagination is gone and never to return. But there will be a copy of New Jack City shot on a handycam in 1993 at Worldwide Cinemas on 50th St. and 8th Ave. available for purchase.



Paranoia Man In A Rat Fink Room opened in tandem with the 13th annual New York Comedy Festival, which takes place annually during the first week of November at venues throughout New York City. As part of a special week-long preview, Caroline Hirsch, founder and owner of the New York Comedy Festival and Carolines on Broadway, curated comedic programming inside the installation, bringing to the space a functioning nightclub and entertainment venue complete with live stand-up performances by more than 20 comedians. 


For more information about the performances and preview events, see here.



On Tuesday, November 8th, Storefront for Art and Architecture and the New York Comedy Festival presented the public opening of Paranoia Man in a Rat Fink Room, which coincided with the US presidential election. Guests entered the Rat Fink Room, and experienced election-related programming and coverage throughout the evening. Live New York Comedy Festival stand-up performances were interspersed with the coverage, and hosted by Sarah Armour.



Matt Pavich
Neko White
Loyiso Gola


Paranoia Man Gid without Logos


Now in its thirteenth year, the New York Comedy Festival is produced by Carolines on Broadway in association with Comedy Central. The festival has featured the country’s top comedians, including Aziz Ansari, Judd Apatow, Hannibal Buress, Bill Burr, Louis C.K., Margaret Cho, Billy Crystal, Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Kathy Griffin, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Norm Macdonald, Bill Maher, Tig Notaro, Nick Offerman, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, and Wanda Sykes, to name a few. In 2007, the festival launched the “Stand Up for Heroes” event to benefit The Bob Woodruff Foundation, which has featured performances by Ricky Gervais, John Mayer, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Conan O’Brien, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, and Robin Williams, among others.  To date, the “Stand Up for Heroes” events have raised over $33 million.  For more information please visit the NYCF website, like the NYCF Facebook page, and follow the NYCF on Twitter, @NYComedyFest.  This year the festival has a new hashtag — #MakeNYLaugh — for use in all of its social media platforms.



Jonah Freeman was born in 1975 in Santa Fe, NM and lives and works in New York City. He holds a degree in Film Production and Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Since 1998, he has been exhibiting film/video, photo and environmental installations in galleries and museums worldwide. His several interconnected bodies of work primarily focus on the phantasmagoria of the constructed world. Recent solo exhibitions include In The Kaleidoscope Room, Mitterrand + Sanz, Zurich, Switzerland (2009); The Long Goodbye, John Connelly Presents, New York, NY (2007); The Franklin Abraham, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY (2005); and In the Public Realm: Sixteen Scenarios, Public Art Fund, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY (2002).


Freeman’s solo films have screened in several film festivals including The International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Locarno International Film Festival and The Rome International Film Festival. His work has also been represented in the recent group shows: Paper Exhibition, Artists Space, New York, NY (2009); The Future As Disruption, The Kitchen, New York, NY (2008); Le Centre pour l’Image Contemporaine, Saint Gervais, Geneva, Switzerland (2008); Grow Your Own, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2007); Busan Biennale 2006, Busan, South Korea (2006); Intouchable (l’ Idea transparence), Centre National d’Art Contemporain – Villa Arson, Nice, France (2006); Day Labor, PS1/MOMA, New York, NY (2005); Vanishing Point, The Wexner Center for the Arts, Wexner, OH (2005).


Justin Lowe was born in 1976 Dayton, Ohio. In 2004, he received his MFA from Columbia University. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California and New York City. Since 2003, he has been exhibiting large scale, immersive, site-specific installations in galleries and museums worldwide. Solo exhibitions include Hair of the Dog, Pepin Moore, Los Angeles, CA (2011); Werewolf Karaoke, Wadsworth Museum, Hartford, CT (2010); The New War, Galleria Cesare Manzo, Pescara, Italy (2010); Freedom Time is Here Little Kittens, Fredric Giroux, Paris, France (2008); Helter Swelter, Oliver Kamm/5BE Gallery, New York, NY (2006); Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Frederic Giroux, Paris, France (2006); Waterfall, The Wrong Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2004); Passage, PS1 Special Project Room, New York, NY (2004); Collecting Pictures in the Brain, Hotel Sculpture Center (2005); .45 0n the 33, Galleria Cesare Manzo, Pescara, Italy (2007). Group exhibitions include Greater LA, Los Angeles, CA (2011); Fit To Print: Printed Media In Collage, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY (2007); FUORI USO 2006 – ALTERED STATES, National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest, Romania (2007); The Pantagruel Syndrome, Museum of Contemporary Art in the Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (2005); Greater New York PS1/MOMA, New York, NY (2005).


Together, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe create extensive immersive installations. These shows include San San Trilogy, Art Basel – Unlimited, Basel, Switzerland (2016); Brunch Over Troubled Water, Plutschow Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland (2015); Scenario in The Shade, Red Bull Studios, New York, NY (2015); Floating Chain (High-Res Toni), Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY, (2014); Taipei Biennial 2014, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan, (2014); SISTER MOIRE, Winfield House, London, UK (2013); A Diamond hidden in the Mouth of a Corpse, ISTANBUL ’74, Istanbul, Turkey (2012); Stray Light Grey, Marlborough Chelsea, NY (2012); Bright White Underground, Country Club, LA (2010); Black Acid Co-op, Deitch Projects, NYC (2009); The Station, Miami, FL (2008); Hello Meth Lab In The Sun, Ballroom Marfa, (2008). Select group exhibitions include PANOPTICUM, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY (2014); Kiss Me Deadly: A Group Show of Contemporary Neo-Noir from Los Angeles, Paradise Row, London, UK (201); Transmission LA, MOCA Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (2012); From the Martian Chronicles, L&M Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2012).



Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Gaggenau; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Roger Ferris + Partners; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.

This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the New York Comedy Festival.


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Work in Progress

Tuesday September 27, 2016 – Saturday October 22, 2016


September 27th  October 22nd, 2016

Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY


#workinprogress     #WIP     #LL47     @storefrontnyc


New York City is experiencing a booming construction phase. Real estate has become one the most powerful driving forces in the social and urban development of the city. Constrained by laws, policies and codes, market forces and financial structures, and limited architectural responses, the city is being homogenized and transformed into a space for the financial elite, affecting individuals and communities throughout the five boroughs, and changing the social and cultural fabric of the city.


Green construction fences, with their illustrated LL47 “Work in Progress” signs, often present the first visual cues of this process, and of its underlying economic and legislative causes.


This fall, a green construction fence will close Storefront for Art and Architecture and a LL47 sign will illustrate its future development. On these new walls, over 25 LL47 signs commissioned to artists, designers, and architects will depict alternative visions of ongoing construction sites throughout New York City, offering a space of reflection and critique of current development practices and the architectures that build them. A photographic survey of works in progress throughout the city, will depict this new naturalized green New York landscape, inviting us to think about the city that is growing with our times.


Work in Progress is curated by POWERHOUSE in collaboration with Storefront for Art and Architecture, with photographs by Naho Kubota and design by PARA Project. Individuals interested in contributing ideas and additional LL47 signs can download the submission template (available in the documents section above), and send their work to Contributors can also tag their photos with #workinprogress and #storefrontnyc.
AGENCY: Ersela Kripa + Stephen Mueller; Al-Hamad Design; Daisy Ames; Antoine Catala; Nick DeMarco; DSGN AGNC: Quilian Riano; Aaron Gemmill, Marc Handelman, and Prem Krishnamurthy;The Living; LOT-EK; MEGA CORP. (Michael Tingen); Michael Sorkin Studio; MOS Architects; OOF (Tom Hancocks and Carrie Smith); Paloma Powers; Lisa Park; Alan Paukman; PLAYLAB, INC.; POWERHOUSE, William Green, Anton Cromas, and Olga Boltuts; PUCON; Martha Rosler; Jesse Seegers; Miriam Simun; Andrew Strasser; SYC 
POWERHOUSE and Storefront for Art and Architecture
Naho Kubota
Exhibition Design and Installation:
PARA Project
Graphic Design and Identity:
Bryant Wells
Sound Design:
POWERHOUSE and Josh Padarathsingh

Gregory Ketant and Nanu Al-Hamad are POWERHOUSE, an artist duo that explores the practice of architecture and design as a vehicle for transformation.


Nanu Al-Hamad is a designer and artist living and working in New York. Al-Hamad’s fearless attitude toward design challenges the boundaries for creating objects under a philosophy of conceptual functionalism. As a solo artist and a founding member of the artist collective GCC, Al-Hamad’s work has been exhibited at the Swiss Institute, NY; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Sharjah Biennial, UAE; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; New Museum, NY; MoMA PS1, NY; Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin; Project Native Informant, London; and design fairs ICFF, Downtown Design Dubai, and Salone del Mobile.


Gregory Ketant is an interdisciplinary artist and designer and the creative director of MEGA. Originally from South Florida, Ketant moved to New York to pursue a law degree at Hofstra University. After graduating, he decided to forgo a career in law to explore the interchange of technology, subcultures, ecosystems, mythology and modernity. He has since curated a living exhibition private condominium, directed a music video using motion tracking technology, debuted a furniture collection in Kuwait, and most recently unveiled his pentalogy ROSES. His work has been shown or featured at Sultan Gallery, AC Institute, Jack Chiles Gallery, Superchief Gallery, and YUME Gallery.


About PARA Project:

PARA Project is an office for architecture based in New York City, directed by Jon Lott.  
PARA is recipient of the 2016 Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League of New York; the 2014 New Practices New York Award from the American Institute of Architects; the 2013 Design Vanguard Award from Architectural Record; a 2009 finalist for the MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program; the 2007 Young Architects Award from the Architectural League of New York; and was recently a Mies Crown Hall America Prize finalist for the project: Haffenden House. 



This exhibition is supported by Peter Guggenheimer. Construction services are provided by IA Construction Management, Inc. Fabrication assistance is provided by Grey Wartinger.


Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Gaggenau; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Roger Ferris + Partners; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.