Van Alen Institute

Brooklyn, Design, Policy

“Brooklyn Bridge Forest,” Pilot Projects Design Collective, Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society, Grimshaw and Silman, New York and Montreal

Two proposals have been chosen as the winners of a design contest launched earlier this year that sought ways to improve pedestrian space on the crowded Brooklyn Bridge. The Van Alen Institute and the New York City Council on Monday announced that “Brooklyn Bridge Forest,” a design that calls for lots of green space and an expanded wooden walkway, won the professional category. And “Do Look Down,” which would add a glass surface above the girders and make space for community events and vendors, took the top prize in the young adult category.

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Brooklyn, Design, Policy

“Back to the Future,” Bjarke Ingles Group and Arup

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of public space, especially in a city like New York, where residents lack private backyards and most common spaces are too narrow for proper social distancing. A design contest launched earlier this year looking for ideas on how to improve the overcrowded pedestrian promenade of the Brooklyn Bridge, where thousands of walkers and cyclists fight for space daily. The Van Alen Institute and the New York City Council on Thursday announced the six finalists for the “Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge” design contest, with selected proposals calling for less space for cars and more for people.

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Art, Flatiron, holidays

hou de sousa, ziggy, flatiron district

Photo by Cameron Blaylock

A bright and colorful public art installation has opened in front of the Flatiron Building just in time for the holiday season. Ziggy from New York-based firm Hou de Sousa was selected last week as the winner of the annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and the Van Alen Institute. The structure is made up of painted rebar and 27,000 feet of iridescent cord and allows visitors to walk through, sit down, and peek through its vibrant openings. “Hou de Sousa’s spectacular installation invites us to rethink how we interact with public space, and with one another, “Deborah Marton, Van Alen’s executive director, said. “Their design creates delightful and unexpected ways to connect with others.”

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Featured Story

Art, Art nerd ny, Events, Features

In a city where hundreds of interesting events occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Ahead Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer shares her top picks for 6sqft readers!

Get outside of the white cube this week and experience an art opening inside of a corporate lobby, or experience an architecture talk inside of an art museum. Celebrate Haiti’s rich culture with the kick off of their film fest, then check out future art stars at FIT’s graduate exhibition. Grace Exhibition Space hosts a five-hour performance art event, and the historic Salmagundi Club on Fifth Avenue opens its doors for the ARC Salon Exhibition. Head to the Bronx for JMR’s latest solo show, or spend the week at the architectural events lead by Van Alen’s Spring Festival.

More on all the best events this way

Featured Story

Art, Art nerd ny, Events, Features

In a city where hundreds of interesting events occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Ahead Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer shares her top picks for 6sqft readers!

Photography lovers are in for a treat this week: New York legend Martha Cooper opens a new exhibition of her photographs of graffiti in the 1970s and 80s; historic works from India by iconic street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson are on show at the Rubin Museum; and touching portraits of West Africa by young photographer Anne Barlinckhoff are being showcased at The Quin. If you need a break from real life, take in the immersive and contemplative installation of Doug Wheeler, or float away on Pinaree Sanpitak’s meditative piece at Brookfield Place. Finally, join in on an Earth Day conversation in Times Square, or take in the work of “forgotten “ New York street artist Richard Hambelton in an event happening one night only.

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Design, Events, Starchitecture

The Van Alen Institute announces their fourth annual Auction of Art + Design Experiences, offering a rare international sampling of curated events with leading names in the creative world. Like an omakase of “distinctive experiences” with some of today’s most notable innovators in the architecture, design and culture spheres, the benefit auction, available via Paddle8, offers a Robert A.M. Stern-led VIP preview of the architect’s addition to the Yale University campus, an afternoon in the archives of Lina Bo Bardi’s Casa de Vidro outside São Paulo, a workout at Medellín Sports Coliseum with its architect, Giancarlo Mazzanti, a visit to a collection of stilted Miami beach houses with architect Terry Riley, meditation studio time with Winka Dubbeldam and a tour of John Lautner-designed horror story homes in the Hollywood hills, to name just a few.

More cool experiences to bid on, ahead

Featured Story

Art, Art nerd ny, Events, Features

In a city where hundreds of interesting events occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Ahead Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer shares her top picks for 6sqft readers!

Break out after the blizzard cabin fever, and get into an evening at MoMA for their yearly Members Party (yes, that means you need to become a member if you aren’t already!) If architecture is more your thing, celebrate the Van Alen Institute at The Tunnel, or if you’re just not into parties, get cultural at the opera in Bushwick. BBQ joint/gallery Fort Gansevoort welcomes guest curator Hank Willis Thomas for a new show, and Creative Time stages a Shirin Neshat talk at the beautiful Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Enjoy historic postcards of synagogues of the past at Museum at Eldridge Street, then appreciate the surreal illustrations of You Jung Byun. Finally, get an insider’s tour of Grand Central Terminal, including a jaunt across its catwalk to get your very own aerial pictures of the beautiful concourse.
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Transportation, Urban Design

Among the proposals gaining steam to mitigate the imminent L train shutdown are the East River Skyway, an aerial gondola system that would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, and a car-free 14th Street. But the Van Alen Institute wanted to open the brainstorming to the wider public. As part of their “L Train Shutdown Charrette,” this past Sunday, six interdisciplinary design teams who were selected as finalists presented their creative and fanciful proposals, including everything from a floating inflatable tunnel to an all-access transportation pass called Lemonade Line. The winning design “Transient Transit – Revitalizing Industrial Infrastructure” comes from Kohn Pedersen Fox and Happold Engineering, who propose utilizing Newtown Creek for a water shuttle and the LIRR freight tracks for passenger service.

More on the winner and some of the notable honorable mentions

Featured Story

Art, Art nerd ny, Cool Listings, Features

In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers!

Warm weather is here and there are plenty of fun, outdoorsy art activities to keep you busy and inspired. Grab a drink and chill outside for Saya Woolfalk’s trippy film, which enlivens Times Square each night this month. The Van Alen Institute presents four days of design events for their annual Spring Festival, while the Welling Court Mural Project returns with a chance to see artists in action during a fun block party. Artist Peter Gronquist presents a departure from his taxidermy works and a foray into painting at Joseph Gross Gallery, and Miya Ando shows off two new bodies of work inspired by her Japanese heritage at Sundaram Tagore. Drew Conrad’s beautifully brash dystopian installations take residence at Kustera Projects in Red Hook. Head to Brookfield Place with the family to test out The Swings, a kinetic installation that plays music when you swing on it. Finally, the event I look forward to all year, the Philip Johnson Glass House Summer Party which invites guests to picnic amidst the mid -century modern gem.
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Design, Starchitecture

Sick of just reading about today’s architects and designers? Now’s your chance to meet some of these prolific figures in the flesh, through the Van Alen Institute’s third annual Auction of Art + Design Experiences. Launched today, the experiences you can bid on include dinner at Daniel Libeskind‘s Tribeca apartment cooked by his wife Nina, the chance to harvest cocktail ingredients in the Lowline Lab with founder James Ramsey, pedicures in Brooklyn with artist Diana Al-Hadid, and a recipe tasting in Bon Appétit’s One World Trade Center offices.

Get the scoop on some of the most exciting experiences

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