The Louise McCagg Gallery’s floor-to-ceiling windows look out over Broadway’s hodgepodge cityscape. The view is a convenient backdrop for the Barnard and Columbia Architecture department’s new installation there, which puts the sustainable urban landscape on display.
The exhibit, called New Year Show, opened to the public at the Louise McCagg Gallery on the 4th floor of the Diana Center last Wednesday.
The exhibition features student work from chair of Barnard’s Department of Architecture Karen Fairbanks’ trip with her Design III students to Oslo, Tromsø, and Stockholm. Student design work from other fall 2016 architecture courses, such as “Design Futures: New York City,” are also on display outside the gallery.
This exhibit’s guiding curatorial concept revolves around the issues faced by cities with increasing population growth and the impact of global climate change. The architectural designs in the exhibit placed a heavy emphasis on the environment, including elements of sustainability-focused urban planning.
Students conducted initial research and developed both a program and a temporary design model before travelling to Scandinavia with Fairbanks. There, the class explored the social and cultural issues that have impacted urban life in global sites. Upon their return, the class was allowed to develop their own research interests under the theme of sustainability.
One student from Design III, Jacqueline Mix BC ’17, began her initial research project that dealt with problems of weather conditions in urban gardening and proposed a “flexible and growable community garden modular system that could be deployed throughout the city.” After her trip to Oslo, the project, co-designed by Mary Constant, BC ’17, evolved into a farm-to-table community center for refugees, intending to “combine food education with displacement culture” in order to foster community.
For the final exhibition, students hung up their digitally rendered projects and created an installation of photographs of natural landscapes from their trip in the center of the gallery to evoke a sense of sculptural space. All precedent work and final projects were then linked together with colored tape, connecting their overall curatorial concept.
The New Year Show aims to encourage students to respond to current events and take initiative in creative sustainable development.
The B+C | A New Year Show will be on view from February 1-15 at Louise McCagg Gallery.