More and more people are taking to the streets to create flexible, short-term design interventions. From open streets to play-streets, chair bombing to guerilla gardening, citizen-led design interventions have filled the gap in addressing local urban planning challenges. Swift, flexible, often experimental, these short-term neighborhood level projects have shifted the paradigm of how we think about city making, project development, and resource distribution. For Intervention, a fast-paced design competition, we invite interdisciplinary teams to design playful, site specific, temporary design interventions from street-furniture to infrastructural changes that can be executed with local partners to make their neighborhoods more livable, and lead to permanent change. Spectators are invited to watch the presentations and jury Q&A, the announcement of a winner and a celebration.
Nandini Bagchee, Principal, Bagchee Architects
Gloria Lau, Director of Projects, Open Architecture / New York
David van der Leer, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute
Mike Lydon, Principal, StreetPlans New York
Gita Nandan, Principal, Thread Collective
Peter Schon, Product Designer; Chair, IDSANY
Emily Weidenhof, Director of Public Space, New York City Department of Transportation
Download the original competition brief here: COMPETITION BRIEF PDF
Vacants to Value: Formalizing the Informal Retail
Team: Sanjit Roy, Amy Frank
Urban life is rooted around street life which is often a direct outcome of retail activities. As online retail, high rents and taxation structures creates a retail blight through vacant stores and boarded-up storefronts, the blight of empty storefronts has become an existential crisis for neighborhoods. Our proposal seeks to re-energize these otherwise empty streets with retail opportunities for entry level entrepreneurs through a series of mobile retail pods that operate in front of the vacant stores. The 6’x6’x2’ box on wheels are designed to be highly adaptable, flexible, and scalable. Produced and operated in collaboration with a local non-profit the pods are built for $200 and rented for $20 per day to entry level entrepreneurs, non-profits, artists or really anyone who wishes to interact with the people in a neighborhood. They create a strong visual language for an immediate and specific urban intervention in the neighborhood that creates greater street activity in blighted sections. The resultant increase in footfalls will allow a range of urban activities that enlivens the neighborhood creating richer urban environments for retailers, consumers and landlords. This intervention is time bound as the pods are transient and move elsewhere when the stores reopen and the pods get relocated to other urban areas. By inhabiting the empty sidewalks and establishing an urban presence through human activity around the pod and its illuminated visual presence at night, the pods go beyond their functional role of entry level retail to becoming an instrument of urban engagement economically empowering and collectively organizing vendors and becoming an ephemeral artistic intervention in the urban lives of the inhabitants of the neighborhood and the city.
Team: Alexandra Gonzalez, President Hive Public Space/Urban Designer; Nidhi Gulati,Urbanist and Non-profit professional; Carlos Osorio, Designer
Long Island City is experiencing a drastic transformation of its urban fabric, yet there is still a significant shortage of active public spaces and proper streetscape design. With over twenty-five art and culture institutions in the area, and a multitude of studio spaces, our proposal aims to capitalize on the existing Art community, promote community building and activate the streets.
Marrying Art and Public Spaces, our proposed ARTlets will be temporary Parklet structures that will showcase the artistic identity of LIC, while addressing common streetscape needs. We propose to partner with local artists to create community-based artwork that will generate conversations around long-term needs and desires for their public realm and will inform permanent solutions. Each individual ARTlets will be part of a larger network with the potential to stitch together a disjointed urban fabric, create a cohesive identity for the community and introduce programming opportunities.
Our Downtown Brooklyn (ODB)
Team: Jakob Winkler, Program Strategist at 3×3 Design; Michaela Kramer, Program Strategist and Designer at TYTHEdesign; Eduarda Aun, Urban Designer at DOT
Downtown Brooklyn is the focal point of several recent and ongoing plans to rebrand the area as Brooklyn’s ‘Cultural District’. In the context of rapid neighborhood change and displacement, how do we ensure that new institutional cultural capital doesn’t compromise the small businesses and everyday culture that have shaped Downtown Brooklyn?
Our Downtown Brooklyn (ODB) is a participatory mobile station that provides a frame to collectively (re)define what ‘culture’ means and reclaim public space for cultures to be created, performed, and seen. The movable platform allows residents to adapt physical structures to their various notions of culture. Traveling across Downtown Brooklyn, ODB increases the visibility of at-risk local businesses and culture through pop-up marketplaces, film-screenings, open mic events, and other informal appropriations and programming that showcase local neighborhood cultural identity and vitality. ODB will engage in partnerships with Business Improvement Districts, small businesses, cultural institutions, and community organizations for funding, maintenance, and programming.