The Fourth "Design Biennial Boston" opens with architectural installations on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and a display at BSA Space
July 17, 2015
The City of Boston announced the opening of the fourth Design Biennial Boston, a program that supports emerging architects, landscape architects and designers who have created inspiring and innovative practices in Massachusetts. Following an open call for entries, four firms-Cristina Parreño Architecture, GLD, Landing Studio and MASS Design Group-were selected in March by a panel of distinguished professionals and academics with the design field. Since then, the firms have been preparing installations that now are on view on the Rose Kennedy Greenway through September 25. They join 19 previous winners of the Biennial, a group that represents Boston's deeply creative pool of design talent.
The 2015 Biennial is sponsored by the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, the Boston Art Commission, pinkcomma gallery, BSA Space and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. A related introductory exhibition curated by pinkcomma is located at BSA Space (290 Congress Street).
The four site-specific installations include a 17-foot-high landmark that acts as an urban periscope constructed of 350 custom-fabricated glass blocks; a series of chambers enclosed by resin-infused fiberglass that forms a surprising collective interior space; a field of 18 reconstituted wharf pilings recycled from a shipyard in Boston Harbor; and a lattice-like structure composed of more than one thousand wood and metal components to create an intimate gathering space.
"Boston has a vibrant talent pool of designers, and these four installations remind us of how creative artists can be when given opportunities," said Mayor Walsh. "Boston is on its way to becoming a municipal arts leader, and implementing this type of exciting and thoughtful work into the public realm is what gets us closer to that goal."
"Boston is home to a healthy, vibrant design community," said Joyce Linehan, Chief of Policy for the City of Boston. "We have world-renowned architects, artists and innovators. We have outstanding schools that specialize in design. We have all the tools we need to meet the Mayor's challenge to think big about our built environment as we embark on our first citywide plan in 50 years. The emerging designers represented here exemplify the spirit of imagination that will inform our process."
"This fourth installment of the Biennial has moved outdoors to put the work ofemerging designers on display in an exciting and very public way," said Chris Grimley of pinkcomma gallery and over, under, a Boston-based interdisciplinary practice with expertise in architecture, urban design, graphic identity, and publications, and one of the exhibition's curators. "At a time when the Mayor has brought forth urgent questions about the quality of buildings being produced in the city, the Biennial participants demonstrate how Boston's new design talent can be drawn on for its innovative thinking and ability to respond to the challenges we will face in the future."
The previous design work of each team is presented at BSA Space, as are the ideas behind their installations. The public is invited to tour the exhibition and then pass through the Greenway. The works are located on two blocks along Atlantic Avenue, the first with three installations between Congress and Pearl Streets, the second with one installation nearest to High Street. The sites are immediately adjacent to the 250-foot-high suspended art piece, As If It Were Already Here, near South Station, by Janet Echelman.
"We are excited to host the 2015 Biennial on the Greenway," said Lucas Cowan, curator of public art for the Greenway Conservancy. "With the Biennial installations and Janet Echelman's piece so close to one another, the Greenway has become home to a wonderful confluence of architecture and public art, showcasing innovative thinkers who make Greater Boston their home."
"This year's Design Biennial Boston has provided four outstanding emerging designers with an invaluable chance to engage the wider public in their imaginative work," said panelist Tim Love AIA, 2015 president of the BSA and a Biennial participant in 2008. "BSA Space is pleased to host the introductory exhibition and support the Biennial. We believe that Boston's future is in good hands if these brilliant minds are given more opportunities to shape our city."
The jury for the 2015 Biennial included curators Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and Mark Pasnik AIA (pinkcomma gallery) along with Lucas Cowan (Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy), Eden Dutcher (GroundView), Michael Evans (Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics), Mary Fichtner (BSA Space), Karin Goodfellow (Boston Art Commission), Dan Hisel (Dan Hisel Architect/Wentworth Institute), Eric Höweler AIA (Höweler + Yoon/Harvard University), Tim Love AIA (Utile/Northeastern University/2015 BSA President) and Ana Mijlacki (Project_/MIT).