by Camila Schaulson Frenz
If you have yet to see our summer exhibition, “Open to the Public: Civic Space Now,” the culmination of this year’s presidential theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision,” established by AIANY 2014 President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, you should stop by the Center for Architecture soon! The exhibition will close on 09.08.14. Before this happens, however, we will be celebrating the opening of Christopher Janney’s public art installation, “Sonic Forest: Civic Celebrations” on 09.05.14 at 5:00 PM. As the name suggests, this program is an important initiative of President Brown’s theme.
“Sonic Forest: Civic Celebrations” is an “urban musical instrument that will further activate the Center for Architecture’s neighboring public space, LaGuardia Park. A site-specific pattern of 16 eight-foot-tall “trees” will join the statue of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia by Neil Estern. Each “tree” houses interactive photo-electric sensors, computer-controlled LED lights, and an audio speaker. Visitors will trigger the sensors by touch or movement, producing an ever-changing score of melodic tunes and environmental sounds enhanced by light effects.
The opening reception will precede the final program for “Open to the Public: Civic Space Now,” a panel discussion titled “The Future of Public Space.” Suzanne Fraiser, AIA, associate professor at Morgan State University School of Architecture and Planning, Guido Hartray, AIA, founding partner at Marvel Architects, and Susan Silberberg, AIA, founder of CivicMoxie and lecturer in urban design and planning at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, will discuss the critical role played by our shared urban realm in the face of increasing population density in a conversation moderated by Richard Sennett, founder of Theatrum Mundi and professor of Sociology at NYU and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
After the panel discussion, the celebration will continue at Favela Cubana (543 LaGuardia Place) across the street from the Center for Architecture!