Jenny Sabin Studio triumph in MoMA young architect competition with socially and environmentally responsive installation

New York practice Jenny Sabin Studio have won the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) annual Young Architects Program, with their design of a socially and environmentally responsive installation that adapts to the densities of bodies, heat and sunlight.

Opening at MoMA’s sister institution, MoMA PS1, in Long Island City on 27 June, the structure – called Lumen – will bathe visitors in a responsive photo-luminescent glow at night, and emit grounds of cooling mist during hot days.

According to the architects, the “socially and environmentally responsive structure” will be created using a lightweight knitted fabric of responsive tubular elements and a canopy of cellular components designed to absorb, collect and deliver light. The multi-sensory design will be shaped by mathematical generation and form-finding simulations, informed by the sun, site, materials and programme.

The result will be “a feminine form that offers luminous interiorities, informal networks, social fabrics, and fibrous assemblages that are pliable, transformative, and playful.” Visitors will socialise, exchange ideas and relax on a series of robotically-woven recycled spool chairs.

The more people there are, the closer they are together, and the warmer it is, the more mist will be released to create a refreshing micro-climate.

“Held in tension within the PS1 courtyard matrix of walls, Lumen applies insights and theories from biology, materials science, mathematics, and engineering,” said Jenny Sabin Studio in a project statement. “Material responses to sunlight as well as physical participation are integral parts of our exploratory approach to new materials, embodiment, and a transformative, adaptive architecture.

“Resisting a biomimetic approach, Lumen employs an analogic design process where complex material behaviour and processes are integrated with personal engagement and diverse programmes. Through direct references to the flexibility and sensitivity of the human body, Lumen integrates adaptive materials and architecture where code, pattern, human interaction, environment, geometry and matter operate together as a conceptual design space.”

The Young Architects Program, founded by MoMA and MoMA PS1, offers emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative temporary, outdoor installations each year.

The jury nominates around 50 firms comprised of recent architectural school graduates, junior faculty and architects experimenting with new styles or techniques, before a shortlist of five is selected.

The other firms and individuals in the running this year were Bureau Spectacular, Office of III, SCHAUM/SHIEH and Ania Jaworska.

Last year the competition was won by Mexican design practice Escobedo Solíz Studio, who created a textured canopy of colourful ropes of varying density that invited visitors to interact and occupy the spaces below.

MoMA and MoMA PS1 have partnered with the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome, Italy; CONSTRUCTO in Santiago, Chile, Istanbul Modern in Istanbul, Turkey; and MMCA in Seoul, Korea to create international editions of the Young Architects Program.

Jenny Sabin Studio  young architect  design  architecture  Museum of Modern Art  New York  Lumen  installation  art 
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New York practice Jenny Sabin Studio have won the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) annual Young Architects Program, with their design of a socially and environmentally responsive installation that adapts to the densities of bodies, heat and sunlight. Opening at MoMA’s sister institution, MoMA PS1, in Long Island City on 27 June, the structure – called Lumen – will bathe visitors in a responsive photo-luminescent glow at night, and emit
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Lumen will bathe visitors in a responsive photo-luminescent glow at night, and emit grounds of cooling mist during the hot days / Jenny Sabin Studio
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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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