5x5: Participatory Provocations

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5x5: Participatory Provocations
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14 from 2-4 PM
On View: January 14 - March 12, 2017

The exhibition invites an architectural response to 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. 
The exhibit invited 25 young design firms to tackle one of five prompts each; some fictional, some real, and all deeply engaged with the economic and cultural forces that wander into the voting booth with each citizen's decision to pull the lever.

Each team produced only a single model and short text based 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.

Click here to view all 25 works from 5 provocations.

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.

THE PARTICIPANTS (click name to view project)

Brillhart Architecture
KNE studio
Norden Design
Club Club
P.R.O. - Peterson Rich Office with Quarra Stone Company
Anthony Titus Studio
GELPI Projects
Platform for Architecture + Research
Abruzzo Bodziak Architects
Carl Lostritto
David Emmons
Michael Abrahamson
PATH + Price Studio
Future Expansion
Kyle May, Architect
Sean Gaffney | Christina Nguyen
Studio Cadena


Droneports (Various locations, United States)
The future of product delivery is not a truck. Whether or not it's a drone is up in the air. But as Amazon fights for 200 feet of airspace for its commercial drones, we begin to ask how the facilities housing these drones and their goods will actually be manifested. Will there be communication towers of docking drones? A grid of docking stations all over the U.S. on top of warehouses with conveyer belts? How does Amazon most efficiently get me my tube of toothpaste in the morning when I realize I'm out and am late for work?

Inve$tment Tower$ (Any Cosmopolitan City)
There is a trend for ultra-extreme-luxury units to be purchased merely as investments, not as places of living. There is a concern for the life of the city if buildings are being built for people that don't live in them. Bubbles of money pushing lower-income people to the periphery. But what about the design of these towers? If a residential tower is not designed for occupants, only as an investment, what would it be? What would make someone invest in a tower that is not meant to be lived in?

Lunar Resort
(Dark Side of the Moon)

We've seen countless proposals for colonies on the moon. But let's be honest, who wants to live on the moon? Virgin Galactic is proving that the future of space travel isn't utopian research or the search for undiscovered countries, it's luxury tourism. So what is the architectural manifestation of luxury on the moon? Where do visitors stay when they go on their lunar honeymoon?

NSA Community Branch
(Around the corner on Main St., USA)

The National Security Administration's headquarters in Fort Meade is a fairly, to quite fairly, intimidating building. In an effort to "reach out" to the American people, the NSA wants to build local community branch facilities in every town in the United States. How does the NSA appeal to communities around the country while enhancing their monitoring efforts?

Trump Wall
(Mexico-United States border)

In the summer of 2015, presidential hopeful Donald Trump made a speech about immigration and border control. He exclaimed to the surprise of many, "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words." He didn't release any specifics on his wall and no architect (to our knowledge) has been commissioned. The wall would be 1,954 miles long or about twenty times the length of the Berlin Wall but only 1/7th the size of the Great Wall of China. So, what would a Mexico-funded, U.S. owned, Trump Wall be?


JULIA VAN DEN HOUT is founder of Original Copy, and co-founder and Editor of CLOG. As Original Copy, she is currently producing TEN Arquitectos's new monograph, as well as a book on expos and world's fairs centered around the Milan Expo 2015. She co-curated "New Views: The Rendered in Image in Architecture" at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013/2014. Prior to founding Original Copy, Julia was the Director of Press and Marketing at Steven Holl Architects for six years, where she was responsible for developing and coordinating the PR strategy for over 30 projects and competitions, organizing the opening and publication of 12 completed projects, and the coordination of multiple traveling exhibitions. She has a Master's Degree in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

KEVIN ERICKSON is a designer in New York City (KNE studio), and an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois. He is on the Program Leadership Council at the Van Alen Institute, was a Visiting Professor at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, and an Artist-in-Residence at the Geoffrey Bawa Lunuganga Trust in Sri Lanka.

is a practicing architect in New York City (Kyle May, Architect), and co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of CLOG, a quarterly architecture journal that has published 14 issues to date. With Original Copy, he is currently editing the first monographs of REX and Luxigon, and writing a book on Wallace K. Harrison with Julia van den Hout. He co-curated "New Views" at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013/2014 and is on the Advisory Panel of Kent State University's College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Kyle teaches at RISD, and has been a visiting critic at a range of institutions, including Yale University, MIT, Harvard, Princeton University, Columbia University, and Kent State University, and he has lectured widely.


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Installation view 

Path + Price Studio, Blind Spots

Brillhart Architecture, DOMAIN
Photo by Stefani Franchini

Sean Gaffney + Christina Nguyen, Unearth

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