Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Temporary Art/Architecture

Instead of being static, everlasting, inflexible and expensive, (architecture) can be removable, mobile, a stage for all kinds of scenarios.

-- Niklas Maak, A New Approach To Urbanity, from raumlaborberlin's book, acting in public.

This quote is from an introduction to a book that touches on new, dynamic forms of architecture that question the current relationships between interior and exterior space, permanence, and even materiality. For example, raumlaborberlin's kitchen monument at first appears to be a sheet metal piece of minimalist contemporary art....but!

The box is actually a pneumatic vessel that explodes open and fills the surrounding space with an inflated plastic bubble that is occupied as a communal kitchen. The kitchen, a space that is traditionally private, interior, hestial, is now filling the public realm, twisting 'round trees and filling empty spaces: it is dynamic, transparent, hermetic. It is playful and temporary, a product of the "urban generator," the cold metallic box.

Imagine such a device set in the middle of our lot, only to erupt and provide a location for sad boy tacos to prepare food on a grand scale; or maybe the output is seating for outdoor movies on beautiful summer nights?

Or maybe, rather than architecture, something else temporary occupies the lot. A gentleman whom I met through the facebook group told me this morning of a project in Burien by Ignition Northwest, a non-profit whose mission is to "foster radical self-expression, participatory art, and sustainable community through regional events, art grants, and information sharing and education."

The project is part of the Burien Interim Art Space, and was something I had read about (and seen photos) a few months ago on hugeasscity, though I was unaware of who was behind it. Turns out that the temporary art project is on the site of future phase of development for the Burien Town Center or, in other words, a vacant lot.

Perhaps a similar temporary installation is in order for the people's parking lot. A discussion last night with a young lady -- who lent me the raumlaborberlin book and is behind a certain guerilla garden on Capitol Hill -- revolved around portable raised garden plots that could occupy the lot for now (anyone who was at the garage sale knows it gets good sunlight). Maybe these plots are portable, that is sized so that they can be transported by a bicycle or two?

Whether the temporary installation is architecture, art, or agriculture, now seems to be an opportune time to take advantage of a (possibly) temporary situation. Are you an experimental architect, large-scale artist, or gardener/handy bike nut? If so, this seems like the right kind of project for you.

1 comment:

  1. Hey I know that garden plot - I help out there. That soil makes excellent salad greens it does.