From Retrospective to Retroactive

MArch research into book and beyond

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    21st Century Experience of Space (with collage)

    Christopher Perrodin
    Feb 7, '16 6:26 PM EST

    If someone were to ask me where we should look to see an example of 21C space, I would point them to the MoMA.  But the focus would not be on the art.

    I would call their attention to the retail at the entry level, on the first floor, on the top floor, across the street, and the street vendors just outside the door.  I would ask them to take note of the restaurant, the garden, the branding, the website, the guided tours, the audio tours, and the virtual tours...oh...and the films, socials, and events.  And affiliated venues like PS1.



    We see in MoMA an understanding of space which exceeds any single program description,  In fact, MoMA is a bit of a misnomer.  A better description would be the Contemporary Culture Society.  It goes beyond typical understandings of "mixed use" or "adaptive space" because all programs occur simultaneously on the same floor and without any strong visual barriers.  If we needed a term, maybe we could call it "both-and."

    Critical to the ethos of the MoMA is that it must live beyond its four walls.  Its experience as an identity is also digital.  Digital as a conversation, keeping the community up to date on current and future events.  Digital as movie and lecture invites. Digital as virtual tours of the art collection.  Digital as an online retail store allowing you to purchase cultural design items and create a MoMA experience in miniature on your own terms.

    MoMA's ability to engage a community in many different ways makes it an important paradigm for projects and program types trying to use the operative words "place,"  "place-making" or "active."

    MoMA is not just a museum for modern art.  It is a community center that is effectively global in reach.  It is a world renown retailer.  It is a nice garden to relax in during lunch.  It is, and has always been, both hyper local and expansively global.  If a retailer, developer or community center ever needed a good understanding of how to make desirable space, I'd first send them a link to the MoMA website and then a plane ticket to Manhattan.

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About this Blog

I will chronicle my design research and degree project, providing commentary on my thought process at the time. From there, I will transform the body of work into a book which seeks to place into dialogue the two (currently) separated semesters of work.

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