Last Saturday, the Architectural League team spent a beautiful spring day at the IDEAS CITY StreetFest, part of the New Museum’s biennial festival exploring the future of cities around the globe with the belief that arts and culture are essential to the vitality of urban centers, making them better places to live, work, and play. At the StreetFest, we hosted a pop-up exhibition showcasing the first stage of the League’s long-term project Typecast, a research-based study seeking to refresh thinking about architectural typologies that have come to be seen as outdated, starting with the much-maligned housing typology “towers-in-the-park.” The booth presented photographs from the five photo essays we commissioned for Typecast, and offered an outline of the project’s research agenda.
The booth also served as a home base for visitors to find information about Little Free Library/NYC, the League and PEN World Voices Festival project also launched at the StreetFest. On Saturday, ten design teams selected in a jury process built and installed small book exchanges across Manhattan’s East Village and Lower East Side in coordination with local community partners. The libraries will be installed through September, when they will be reevaluated to see if they can remain on site into the fall. For more on the project, the individual designs, and photos of the installations on Saturday, check out this League feature on Little Free Library/NYC or, even better, use this map to visit the libraries in person.
We enjoyed talking with lots of great folks, explaining our ideas and listening to theirs, which we will incorporate as the project moves forward. Keep an eye out for developments as the Typecast project continues and check out some photos below of the StreetFest, the Architectural League / Urban Omnibus booth, and a selection of images of Little Free Libraries (more of which can be seen here). We’re already looking forward to 2015.