5x5 Participatory Provocations, an exhibition featuring models by 25 young American architects, will open at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on February 15, 2016. Curated by Julia van den Hout, Kevin Erickson, and Kyle May, the exhibition argues for participatory criticism and the engagement of architecture in a series of significant issues we face today, from a growing income gap, immigration, and globalization, to technology’s impact on our lives, surveillance, and power. As part of the exhibition opening, seven of the architects featured in the exhibition will present their projects in a symposium on February 15 at 5:30pm.
Architecture as a profession struggles to simultaneously engage with the public and be provocative within the confines of its own field. Either arguments and proposals get “dumbed down” or they simply aren’t accessible or relevant.
This exhibit argues for participatory criticism. Twenty-five young architects engage in a series of significant popular issues, taking clear stances and producing a physical expression or provocation as a means of communicating with a larger public. Each team responds to one of five prompts — contemplating the future of drone deliveries, the consequence of the construction of extreme luxury highrises as financial investments, luxury tourism on the moon, the fictional development of NSA community branches, and the potential construction of an anti-immigration wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.
The avant-garde in architecture has for decades captured its imaginations via two-dimensional representations, but this exhibit asks architects to be just as provocative in three dimensions. Each team will produce only a single model and short text on one of the prompts. The selected topics intend to provoke, but are grounded in issues we face today. Architecture has a seat at each discussion.
The exhibition is curated by Julia van den Hout, founder of Original Copy and editor of CLOG; Kyle May, Principal of Kyle May, Architect and Editor-in-Chief of CLOG; and Kevin Erickson, Principal of KNE studio and Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois.
5x5 Participatory Provocations is made possible through support by the Illinois School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and will be on view in the University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Hall Gallery from February 15 until March 4, 2016.
For more information and images of the exhibition, please contact:
Original Copy, firstname.lastname@example.org