BOSTON - April 3, 2015 - Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the winners of the fourth Design Biennial Boston, a program sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Boston Art Commission in collaboration with pinkcomma gallery, BSA Space and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. Following an open call for entries, a distinguished jury selected four firms whose work provides ample evidence of Boston’s rich design talent.
The 2015 Biennial will feature Cristina Parreño Alonso of Cristina Parreño Architecture, Cynthia Gunadi and Joel Lamere of GLD, Dan and Marie Law Adams of Landing Studio, and Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks of MASS Design Group. Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim of IK Studio and Daniel Ibañez and Rodrigo Rubio of Margen-Lab received honorable mention awards this year for their contributions.
Photo: Cristina Parreño Alonso of Cristina Parreño Architecture, National Library, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2012
"Boston has a deep creative talent pool, and these four selections for the 2015 Design Biennial reflect that," said Mayor Walsh. "I want Boston to be a municipal arts leader, and putting this type of exciting and thoughtful work into the public realm is what gets us closer to that goal. Thank you to our enthusiastic partners, and congratulations to these inspired designers."
"This fourth installment of the Biennial highlights emerging designers who reflect the diversity and vitality of Boston’s academic and professional architectural scenes," explained Chris Grimley of pinkcomma and over,under, one of the exhibition's curators.
“At a time when the mayor has brought forth much-needed questions about the quality of buildings being produced in the city, the Biennial demonstrates 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 winning designers’ projects range from speculative visions to constructed interventions, including a monumental library in Slovenia, an installation in a stairway at MIT, the transformation of an industrial tank farm into a shared salt dock and public park in Chelsea, and a cholera treatment center with a wastewater purification facility in Port-au-Prince.
“We were impressed by the inventiveness of this year’s submissions, which indicate the strength of the region’s upcoming generation,” explained juror Eden Dutcher of GroundView, a Biennial winner from the 2012/13 cycle. “Boston is a city with a growing talent pool of designers who should be given more opportunities to build in their hometown.”
In addition to a display of their prior work at BSA Space, the four selected design teams will construct site-specific installations on the Rose Kennedy Greenway adjacent to a 250-foot-high suspended art piece 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 will be home to a wonderful confluence of architecture and public art this summer, showcasing innovative thinkers who make Greater Boston their home.”
"The Design Biennial Boston, with work exhibited at BSA Space, has provided emerging designers with an invaluable chance to engage the wider public in their imaginative work," commented juror Tim Love AIA, 2015 president of the BSA and a Biennial participant in 2008. "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 (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 (Höweler + Yoon/Harvard University), Tim Love AIA (Utile/Northeastern University/2015 BSA President), and Ana Mijlacki (Project_/MIT). The public installations will be on view from late June through mid-September.
JURY COMMENTS Cristina Parreño Alonso of Cristina Parreño Architecture “The designer’s strong aesthetic and imaginative qualities span several architectural scales, with an attention to craft and detail as well as a deep commitment to an enriched sense of spatial engagement.” www.cristinaparreno.com
Cynthia Gunadi and Joel Lamere of GLD “This body of experimentation deserves commendation for foregrounding a delicate balance of form and beauty, highly crafted fabrication techniques, interactivity with people, and a thoughtful relationship between the human form and larger spaces.” www.gldarch.com
Dan and Marie Law Adams of Landing Studio “This team’s coherent proposal for a series of diverse interventions is remarkable because it was completed while engaging a variety of stakeholders in the transformation of an industrial site to a vibrant urban playground.” www.landing-studio.com
Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks of MASS Design Group “A firm known for its beautiful humanitarian medical facilities abroad will now be given a chance to do its first installation in the practice’s home city, which we expect will display the same lightness, grace, economy, and public engagement characterizing the earlier work.” www.massdesigngroup.org
About the Design Biennial Boston The Biennial showcases the most significant leaders among early-career, independent design talent in Massachusetts through a juried exhibition and site-specific, outdoor installation. The mission is to create a more vibrant design community that will contribute to Boston’s evolving culture, shape, and economic health. The first iteration of the Biennial—known as the Young Architects Boston Group—was held at pinkcomma gallery in 2008. In 2010, the event was renamed the Design Biennial Boston, and in 2012/13 it moved to BSA Space. Past participants include nineteen designers: Ground, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LinOldhamOffice, Merge Architects, MOS, over,under, SsD, Studio Luz Architects, UNI, and Utile in 2008; C&MP, Dan Hisel Architect, Schneider Studio, Touloukian Touloukian, and William O’Brien Jr. in 2010; and GroundView, Kiel Moe, Matter Design, Project_ in 2012/13. www.designbiennialboston.com
About BSA Space architects.org/bsaspace BSA Space (290 Congress Street, Boston)—Boston’s leading cultural institution on architecture and design—is home to the Boston Society of Architects and BSA Space Foundation. Admission is free and open to the public.
About pinkcomma gallery pinkcomma.com Founded in 2007, pinkcomma gallery strives to make design more pivotal in the city’s political and cultural discourses—and across disciplines of architecture, landscape, graphics, urbanism, interiors, and industrial design.
About the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics newurbanmechanics.org The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston serves as the City's innovation incubator, building partnerships between internal agencies and outside entrepreneurs to pilot projects that address resident needs. The Mechanics strive to engage the community in developing projects that will reshape city government and improve the services it provides.
About the Boston Art Commission publicartboston.com The Boston Art Commission, first assembled in 1890, advocates for creative place-making through the integration of public art into Boston’s civic spaces. From siting and funding temporary art on City property to reviewing and approving proposals for permanent public art, the Art Commission actively fosters community engagement in Boston’s cultural landscape. With a board of nine dedicated, Boston-based arts professionals appointed by the Mayor, the Art Commission also has custody of all permanent artworks sited on public property.
About the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy rosekennedygreenway.org The Conservancy is the designated steward of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a mile-and-a-half of contemporary parks in the heart of Boston that connect people and the city with beauty and fun. The non-profit Conservancy maintains, programs, and improves the Greenway on behalf of the public and in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.