Saturday, February 28, 2009

Intersections: Grand Concourse Beyond 100

The Bronx Museum has teamed up with Design Trust to host a design competition aimed at gathering ideas for the future of the Grand Concourse. Exemplifying how organizations are taking on the task of improving urban environments. This is an open call to anyone who can come up with a vision of the future for this portion of Bronx's urban fabric.

"This international ideas competition solicits bold visions that describe how the Bronx and the Grand Concourse can evolve in coming decades to cope with pressing needs for housing, green space, and transportation.
Winning proposals will be exhibited at The Bronx Museum of the Arts starting in November 2009. Honorable mentions will be on display at the exhibition and on this website."

What makes this so interesting?

Partnership between the Bronx Museum and Design Trust:

This project not only bridges public and private practice, engaging local governments and private companies, it expands the role of the museum and the artist. Traditionally, in a very brief and narrow sense, museums exhibit works of art as end products and artists make them. But the exhibition that will be presented in the Bronx Museum is different. Selected proposals will be on show and while these may not be complete plans for urban design they may very well influence the future urban environment of the Grand Concourse. They are images, representations of what could very well become a tangible infrastructure. On that note the exhibition opens an intriguing path for public feedback, putting the big ideas up for all to see means that those who do catch a glimpse can respond. Is the museum going to be recording public response? I doubt it, but it is certainly a interesting shift in the role of the museum and I am sure the images of Grand Concourse's future will prompt an interesting dialogue.

An expanded role for artists interested in the Urban Environment.

Art is often retro fitted onto the existing urban fabric. It takes a side seat, if any, to the design and planning role. This project opens the door for artists. It takes into account the value of art, innovation and creative vision. This competition challenges traditional design and development practices engaging diverse professions, providing a venue for exhibition that places the products of the competition in the domain of art, and opens the door to artists. This elucidates evolving processes in urban design and marks emergent inclusions of art, a valued role for the artist, and the sifting landscape of design professions. Urban design becomes art and the scope of the artist's influence acquires a new lens.

The Jury:

The jury here epitomizes the diversity of this project and its potential. Comprised of architects, planners, artists, a sociologist and an editor this jury covers a great spectrum of professionals.

Some notable Jurors just to get the picture:

Susan Szenasy :
Editor-in-Chief of Metropolis
TATS CRU : Bronz based professional muralists

Wilhelm Ronda : Director of Planning and Development for the Office of Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión.
Tim Rollins : Artist, Founder of Art and Knowledge Workshop
Dr. Clara E. Rodríguez :
Professor of Sociology at Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center.
Walter Hood : Professor and former Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
Stan Allen
: Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University.

It is great to see the explosion of design competitions in recent years. All are bringing imaginative ideas to the front of urban design and I look forward to charting this evolution of urban environment. I am certainly pleased to see the inclusion of art and the expansion of the artists role from a passive to active one.

To see more visit:

Intersections : Grand Concourse Beyond 100


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