Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape is a multi-year initiative of Van Alen Institute exploring escape in the urban environment.
Elsewhere is comprised of competitions, public programs, and research that investigate key questions of the contemporary urban experience: How and why do we escape from urban life? What prompts us to escape to the city? What forms of escape can we find within the urban environment? And how might the experience of going “elsewhere” contribute to our well-being?
Elsewhere will examine how both the form and organization of the built environment influence our need for escape. This unique multidisciplinary effort is bringing together innovators in design, public health, policy, and the sciences to change the way we understand cities.
The Institute launched Elsewhere with four days of festival-style programs on November 12–17, 2013, at the Institute and select venues throughout New York City. With offerings including performances, conversations, tours, installations, and workshops, the fall lineup engaged a diverse range of topics to provoke, enlighten, question, and critically examine the ideas of Elsewhere. In May 2014, Van Alen Institute continued Elsewhere with our Spring 2014 Events running May 9-19 in New York City. In December 2014, Elsewhere programs looked at the way we move through the urban realm by framing the city as both a destination and departure point.
In January 2015, Van Alen will launch Ecologies of Addiction, an interdisciplinary research initiative of Elsewhere into the complex relationship between addictive behaviors and the physical environment of the city. Van Alen is collaborating on the first phase with Imperial College London’s Sustainable Society Network (SSN+), and has selected a research team based at King’s College London to investigate how a person’s vulnerability to addiction may be impacted by his or her environment.
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With support from our Program Leadership Council, co-chaired by: Stephan Jaklitsch and Mark Gardner (Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects), Joel Sanders (Joel Sanders Architect), Susanna Sirefman (Dovetail Design Strategists).
The Institute’s events are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Drinks provided by Brooklyn Brewery.