Over the last few decades, a rich and increasingly diverse practice has emerged in the art world that invites the public to touch, enter, and experience the work, whether it is in a gallery, on city streets, or in the landscape. Like architecture, many of these temporary artworks aspire to alter viewers' experience of the environment. An installation is usually the end product for an artist, but for architects it can also be a preliminary step in an ongoing design process. Like paper projects designed in the absence of "real" architecture, installations offer architects another way to engage in issues critical to their practice. Direct experimentation with architecture's material and social dimensions engages the public around issues in the built environment that concern them and expands the ways that architecture can participate in and impact people's everyday lives.
The first survey of its kind,Installations by Architects features fifty of the most significant projects from the last twenty-five years by today's most exciting architects, including Anderson Anderson, Philip Beesley, Diller + Scofidio, John Hejduk, Dan Hoffman, and Kuth/Ranieri Architects. Projects are grouped in critical areas of discussion under the themes of tectonics, body, nature, memory, and public space. Each project is supplemented by interviews with the project architects and the discussions of critics and theorists situated within a larger intellectual context. There is no doubt that installations will continue to play a critical role in the practice of architecture. Installations by Architects aims to contribute to the role of installations in sharpening our understanding of the built environment.
Dr. Sarah Bonnemaison is an associate professor of architecture at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. She practiced architecture in Stuttgart with Bodo Rash and Frei Otto and in New York with FTL before establishing her design firm, Filum Ltd., with Christine Macy in 1990. Ronit Eisenbach is an associate professor of architecture at the University of Maryland. She has exhibited installations internationally at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Institut for Rom Kunst, Princeton University, the Cranbrook Art Museum, and on the streets of Tel Aviv.
Bookshelf: Installations by Architects, Eyeteeth: A journal of incisive ideas:
"I've been poring through Installations by Architects: Experiments in Building and Design, to be published by Princeton Architectural Press this October. It's a remarkable compendium of projects by architects including Diller + Scofidio, Allan Wexler, Anderson Anderson (with Cameron Schoepp) and others. My favorites tend to be sculptural interventions in public space. To read the full review on eyeteeth.blogspot.com click HERE. "
a weekly dose of architecture, Archidose:
"Installations by Architects by Nova Scotia-based Bonnemaison and Maryland-based Eisenbach collects over forty projects by primarily North American architects. Many familiar names can be found, such as John Hedjuk, Diller + Scofidio, Kennedy & Violich, but most of them are not so familiar. (I can't remember the last time I learned about so many designers not known to me in a collection of contemporary architecture!) The projects are split into five thematic sections (Tectonics, Body, Nature, Memory, Public Space) that follow the broad ideas architects have tackled over the last decade or two. Unconventionally each chapter separates the text descriptions from the photo documentation, allowing the book to be read in a number of ways, depending on how much the reader wants to delve into the subject of installations by architects.I'm amazed it has taken so long for a book on this specific topic to be realized, given how many contemporary architects now see installations as stepping stones towards larger commissions, in some cases taking the place of small residential and interiors jobs. I'm reminded of shows like Fabrications -- held simultaneously at MoMA, SFMOMA and the Wexner Center in 1998 -- where the potential for architects to respond to site via materials was exploited. Many of the installations in this book exist outside of conventional museum settings, and the most important chapter might be the last one on public space. It is in that realm where installations -- which can be seen as ways of exploring how architecture can change not only space but attitudes towards it -- should have the greatest potential."
Recent Publications, Forecast Public Art:
"A survey featuring 50 of the most significant projects from the past 25 years by todays most exciting architects, including Anderson Anderson, Philip Beesley, Diller + Scofidio, John Hejduk, Dan Hoffman, and Kuth/Ranieri Architects. The projects, grouped in critical areas of discussion under the themes of tectonics, body, nature, memory, and public space, are supplemented by interviews with the project architects and discussions by critics and theorists situated within a larger intellectual context, proving that installations will continue to play a critical role in the practice of architecture."
"Installations approaches design as an art form that invites the public to touch, enter into, and experience the work, whether it is in a gallery, on a city street, or in the middle of a field."
— Frank A. Mills