NY Exhibition: Past Futures, Present, Futures

NY Exhibition: Past Futures, Present, Futures
Yareah Magazine

Exhibition: October 6 – November 27, 2012

 “The exhibition is a trigger, a machine to create desire, the desire for a better future. This exhibition makes of us all, curators, exhibitors and visitors, scholars and practitioners, historians and visionaries.” Eva Franch

 Installation view: Future Room in  Past Futures, Present, Futures, 2012.  Installation by Leong Leong.   Storefront for Art and Architecture    Photo by Cameron Baylock.

Installation view: Future Room in Past Futures, Present, Futures, 2012. Installation by Leong Leong.
Storefront for Art and Architecture
Photo by Cameron Baylock.

NEW YORK, NY. Storefront for Art and Architecture opened its fall exhibition season on October 5, 2012 with the first part of Past Futures, Present, Futures, presenting 101 unrealized proposals for New York City. On Friday, October 26, 2012, the second part of the exhibition Present, Futures opens with 101 reenactments by an international group of invited artists, architects, writers and policy-makers that create alternative visions for the present and future of the city.

Participants  include: Abruzzo Bodziak, Angelidakis, Archmongers,  BARF, BIG [Bjarke Ingels Group], BUREAU DES MESARCHITECTURES [Didier Faustino], Felix Burrichter, Jose Castillo, Candy Chang, Cero 9, DPR Barcelona, Studio Dror, Ear Architecture, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Didier Fiuza Faustino, Fake Industries, Sou Fugimoto, Beatrice Galilee, IwamotoScott, San Roco, Sam Jacoby, JDS, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, Lydia Kallipoliti, Ed Keller, Jimenez Lai, Sean Lally, Geoff Manaugh, MAS, MMX Studio, MODU, MvS, NABITO, NaJa & deOstos, Popular Architecture, Miguel Robles Duran, Jonathan Salomon, Schaum-Schie, Snohetta, SOFTlab, SO-IL, Space Group,  Sporaarchitects, Terreform ONE, Patrick Tierney, Office VKN, Bostjan Vuga, Liam Young and Mimi Zeiger among many others.


For more information about the artists and particular projects, please contact km@storefrontnews.org.


pfpf Naho Kubota
Past Futures, Present, Futures, 2012. Storefront for Art and Architecture. Photo by Naho Kubota. 

About the Exhibition

The exhibition, presented as a site-specific installation, curated by Eva Franch and designed by Leong Leong, defies traditional forms of display by breaking the exhibition content into singular and isolated pieces: sound, text, image, and materiality, creating a visceral-spatial level and using the information as a scattered landscape of informational nodes that trigger and allow visitors to construct the exhibition in their mind.

“The impetus and pleasure of Past Futures, Present, Futures is to delve into the rich history of unrealized visions for Manhattan — a place architecture critic Reyner Banham referred to as “that city that has contributed so much to the world’s stock of images of the city of the future” — in order to reconceive the ways in which we construct past and future temporalities. The exhibition’s design, installation and technological components, all work together to translate the archive into a necessarily fragmented spatial experience. “ says Greg Barton, Storefront Curatorial Fellow.

Within each sensorial space, the exhibition design pushes the boundaries of technology, legibility and materiality to create a totally new experience about what it is to go into an archive exhibition and what one takes from it. The exhibition uses mirrors, images, numbers, text, all in a very basic and yet sophisticated articulation. A sound piece in the exterior of the gallery powered by a sound proximity sensor can only be articulated clearly if one is in motion.

“[The sound installation] includes an aural version of the physical facade that similarly opens the space up and protrudes onto the sidewalk.We’ve been stuck in a mono/stereo mindset for far too long, and both the general public and available technology are ready for much more rich and fulfilling acoustic experiences,” says David Rife, sound engineer at Arup who helped realize the audio installation.

PFPF Contextual From
Random contextual From. Past Futures, Present, Futures 2012. Storefront for Art and Architecture.  Photo by Cameron Baylock.

The spatialization of the timeline by Leong Leong, in one single undulating mirrored permeable wall, creates 4 rooms that, while totally legible and linear make one feel present in a labyrinth of time. Within the timeline, ready for attentive visitors, the “Random Contextual Form” gives the visitor a cultural framework, seen from our present time, in which each one of the projects emerged. The 101 contextual forms contain at the bottom a QR code that brings the visitor to a momentary space of traditional consumable coherence, a page of the future catalog where all fragments come together in one single consumable space.


pfpf future room construction
Future Construction Room. Visitor-visionaire Zach Crocker, filling out one of the Contextual Forms. Past Futures, Present, Futures, 2012. Storefront for Art and Architecture. Photo by Cameron Baylock.







In each one of the four rooms, the visitor encounters a different sensorial and informational trigger. The Sound Room, in the dark, contains the titles of the projects in a sound piece; The Future Room presents all the images disjointed and fragmented, mixed with mirrors that produce a double encounter, a mutual gaze between the visionary image and the visionary visitor, collapsing in one single plain the past and present in the construction of the future. The Text Room contains all the texts compiled in relation to the projects and The Future Construction Room invites visitors to think and fill in one of the contextual forms as the first step towards the imagination of alternative visions of the city.

The typography designed for the exhibition catalogue and currently in display on the facade and in the contextual forms hidden within the timeline adds yet another level to the exhibition:


pfpf naho kubota typography
Past Futures, Present, Futures 2012. Storefront for Art and Architecture. Photo by Naho Kubota.

The graphic concept for Past Futures, Present Futures employs as its primary typography Julien (2011) by Peter Bi’lak; this typeface constitutes a veritable ‘collapsing of history,’ a collection of various 20th century avant-garde letterforms that each claimed, in its time, to herald the future. Used in this exhibition, the typography points to the cyclical nature of innovation and historical representation intrinsic to the show’s own focus,” says Prem Krishnamurthy, graphic designer from Project Projects.



We invite you to visit the exhibition and experience all these effects. If you would like a guided tour with the curator, please send an email to KM@storefrontnews.org.


The exhibition will be open through November 27, 2012.

 Exhibition Credits

Curated by Eva Franch

Exhibition Design by Leong Leong

Graphic Design by Project Projects

Digital Strategy by the Storefront Technology Committee with technology implementation by Control Group, Arup and Digi

Image Support by Planar

Curatorial Research Team: Chialin Chou and Greg Barton

About the Curatorial Team
Eva Franch i Gilabert is the Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture. She is an architect, researcher, curator, and teacher, founder of OOAA (office of architectural affairs). Franch studied at TU Delft, at ETS Arquitectura Barcelona, and Princeton University. Franch received the La Caixa Fellowship for postgraduate studies, the Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Prize and the Howard Crosby Butler Fellowship from Princeton University, the FAD Prize for Emerging Architects, a Pasajes-iGuzzini Prize, and a Dragados Foundation Prize. She has also been a fellow at Schloss Solitude. Franch’s work has been exhibited at the Korean Institute of Architects in Daegu, FAD Barcelona, NAI Rotterdam, the Shenzen Biennale of Architecture, Venice Biennale among many others. Franch has lectured and taught internationally.

Greg Barton is a researcher and MSc candidate in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia University. He has worked for art nonprofits and institutions including Independent Curators International, New Museum, X Initiative, and National Gallery of Art and has contributed texts to such journals as Volume, The Journal of Architectural Education, CLOG, and THE STATE. Grants and fellowships include the study of public space usage in Portland, Oregon and the documentation of water management structures in Northwestern India.

Chialin Chou comes from a background in art, architecture, technology and business. She was formerly the Special Projects Manager at Cai Guo-Qiang Studio, and the curator for Van Alen Institute’s Design Archive. She holds an M.A. in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts and an M.A. in Financial Economics from the University of San Francisco. Her prior work includes co-curating the special library collection “Curatorial Industries presents SELF STORAGE,”  “Learning to Love You More ” a web project by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher at MU, Eindhoven,  and  “Americana: Colorado” at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

About the Designers

Leong Leong is an award winning New York-based design office practicing in the fields of Architecture, Culture and Urbanism. Leong Leong’s internationally recognized work is directed by brothers Dominic and Chris Leong. The two founded their firm with the belief that the practice of Architecture gains relevance through a constant dialogue with other disciplines, cultures, thinkers and makers to offer thoughtful and innovative design solutions. Their concept-based approach to design is coupled with a deep interest in methods of production that challenge norms and reveal new territories. Leong Leong’s body of work includes the completion of projects in New York, Seoul, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Napa Valley, California


Project Projects produces commissioned and independent design, publishing, and publishing projects. The studio was founded in 2004 by Prem Krishnamurthy and Adam Michaels; Rob Giampietro joined as a principal in 2010. Project Projects was honored in 2009 and 2011 as a Finalist in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s National Design Awards. Combining a conceptual focus, a critical approach to visual form, and an expanded sense of the possibilities of contemporary design practice, Project Projects works across a wide range of media and scales from printed ephemera, books, and websites, to exhibitions, institutional identity programs, and public signage systems.

About Storefront

Founded in 1982, Storefront for Art and Architecture is a nonprofit organization committed to the advancement of innovative positions in architecture, art and design. Our program of exhibitions, artists talks, film screenings, conferences and publications is intended to generate dialogue and collaboration across geographic, ideological and disciplinary boundaries. As a public forum for emerging voices, Storefront explores vital issues in art and architecture with the intent of increasing awareness of and interest in contemporary design.


This exhibition is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Control Group and sponsored by Planar and Arup. Additional support for Storefront for Art in Architecture’s exhibitions and programs are made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; by its Board of Directors, members and individuals.

More information at www.storefrontnews.org

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