IDEAS CITY Festival: Architecture in New York

IDEAS CITY Festival New York, NYC Architectural Events, Manhattan News

IDEAS CITY Festival : Architecture in New York Event

NYC Architectural Project, USA

Mar 29, 2013

IDEAS CITY Festival in New York

‘Untapped Ca[pital’ – Downtown Manhattan


IDEAS CITY Festival in New York


Vast network of participants will transform downtown manhattan into a hub of creative thinking and action via a global conference of leaders, scores of public projects, workshops, exhibitions, and a street festival devoted to urban innovation and ideas for the future.

IDEAS CITY Festival in New York
photo © Iwan Baan

New York, NY – The New Museum and the Executive Committee of IDEAS CITY announced that the second IDEAS CITY Festival will take place in downtown Manhattan from May 1–4, 2013. IDEAS CITY was founded in 2011 by the New Museum, New York, as an unprecedented collaborative initiative that involves hundreds of arts, education, and community organizations in an ongoing, multi-platform discussion on the future of cities around the globe. Guided by the belief that arts and culture are essential to the continued health and vitality of urban centers everywhere, IDEAS CITY partners work together to exchange ideas, propose solutions, share with the public, and effect change.

IDEAS CITY is a biennial Festival in New York City with additional annual Global Conferences organized in key urban centers around the world. IDEAS CITY: Istanbul took place in the fall of 2012 and IDEAS CITY: São Paulo will be held in fall 2013. These global events help to identify urgent issues and invite an ever-growing number of international thought leaders to participate in the initiative. This year, the overarching theme is Untapped Capital—under-recognized and underutilized resources and surpluses that can be harnessed as catalysts for change.

The IDEAS CITY Festival in New York begins on Wednesday May 1 with a Keynote address by Joi Ito, Director of MIT Media Lab, followed by a daylong Conference on Thursday May 2, with mayors and visionary leaders representing a range of disciplines. A series of participatory Workshops will take place on Friday May 3 followed by several evening events.

On Saturday May 4, an innovative StreetFest along the Bowery features 125 local artists, architects, poets, technologists, historians, community activists, entrepreneurs, and ecologists who will share their ideas of Untapped Capital and will encourage the public to actively shape their city. Throughout the entire Festival (May 1–4), over one hundred independent projects, large-scale installations, murals, site-specific projections, exhibitions, and public programs, will be presented around downtown Manhattan, many of which will enliven unexpected areas of the neighborhood.

stitution dedicated to new art and new ideas, the New Museum strongly believes that the cultural community is essential to the vitality of the future city,” said Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director, New Museum. “We also believe that the cultural sphere is still a relatively untapped source of enormously powerful creative capital, especially in its potential to stimulate economic development and foster greater innovation in other fields. The IDEAS CITY initiative is an unprecedented step in expanding both our institution’s mission and its potential as a community hub, drawing the creative population together as agents for change.”

Members of the Executive Committee for IDEAS CITY are the New Museum (founder); the Architectural League of New York; Bowery Poetry Club; Cooper Union; the Drawing Center; New York University Wagner School; and Storefront for Art and Architecture. Founding support for IDEAS CITY: New York is provided by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives made at the recommendation of David B. Heller & Hermine Riegerl Heller. The Lead Sponsor of IDEAS CITY is Audi Urban Future Initiative, and the Lead Supporter is the Rockefeller Foundation.

IDEAS CITY Festival Highlights

Wednesday May 1, 7:30 PM
The four-day festival kicks off with a Keynote address by Joi Ito, a leading technologist, creative entrepreneur, and thinker on innovation and global technology policy. Ito is the Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab—the innovation center that brought us the technologies behind Amazon’s Kindle and Activision’s Guitar Hero games.

He was a part of the foundation of Japan’s first Internet Service Provider and today maintains his role as a leader both in investment and online creativity as the founder of Neoteny Labs. He will examine the Untapped Capital of the internet as it continues to transform society in substantial and positive ways.

Thursday May 2, 9:15 AM–8:30 PM
IDEAS CITY CONFERENCE: Youth, Play, Waste, and Ad Hoc Strategies
at the Great Hall, Cooper Union
The IDEAS CITY Conference is designed to dig deeper into four specific areas where Untapped Capital can be found and put to use for the health and well-being of the future city. The Ad Hoc Strategies panel will investigate how the maximum expression of design today is in the processes, open systems, and tools that shape society by enabling self-organization, platforms of collaboration, and decentralized networks of production.

It is moderated by Joseph Grima and includes panelists Jeffrey Inaba, Emeka Okafor, Thaddeus Pawlowski, J. Meejin Yoon, and Jennifer Wolfe. The panel on Waste includes Mai Iskander, Lydia Kallipoliti, Max Liboiron, and Samantha MacBride, and is moderated by Jonathan F.P. Rose.

The panel on Play questions how play and gaming assist us in reimagining and cocreating urban environments and includes panelists Charles Renfro, Kemi Ilesanmi, and Constance Steinkuehler. Mentors and innovators like Nancy Lublin, Barry McGee, Carlos Motta, and Ellin O’Leary will discuss the incredible capacity of today’s adolescents as innovators for change in the panel on Youth, moderated by Dennis Scholl. The Conference concludes with a Mayors Panel including Jim Gray, current Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, and Will Wynn, former Mayor of Austin, Texas.

Tickets for each event may be purchased at A Festival Conference Pass, guaranteeing entry to all events from May 1–2, is available for $50. A livestream of the Keynote and Panels will be on the IDEAS CITY website:

Friday May 3, 10 AM–6 PM
New York City’s first parochial school, located in Nolita, will be transformed into an educational hive for a day of animated discussion and problem solving with over twenty diverse Workshops organized by IDEAS CITY and partners. The Workshops explore how to rethink unused spaces in the city, how artists can provide vital consultation for commercial development, and how to build bicycle generators, among other topics. IDEAS CITY World Café Workshops address place-making, neighbors, preservation, and networks on the Bowery, led by Rogan Kersh, Dan Barasch, Jason DeLand, Adam Greenfield, Tamara Greenfield, Rob Hollander, and Claire Weisz. Additional IDEAS CITY Workshops will be led by artists Burak Arıkan and Nicolás Paris. Visit for registration information.

Friday May 3, 7 PM
PITCHING THE CITY: NEW IDEAS FOR NEW YORK, presented by Architizer and the Municipal Art Society of New York at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral The evening is a high-energy pitch session challenging five designers who will present their ideas for a better New York to a jury of experts and the audience. At the end, the audience will vote to choose their favorite idea.

Saturday May 4, 11 AM–6 PM
This public outdoor StreetFest will occupy more than a square block around the New Museum, activating the Bowery, Stanton, Rivington, and Chrystie Streets as well as Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The winning structures of the IDEAS CITY StreetFest Tenting Design Competition—for a new model of street-festival tents—will premiere. Scores of inventors, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and ecologists will share their products and concepts, demonstrating the value of untapped creative capital.

Valet your bike, paint with bacteria, construct a solar-powered radio using recycled materials, preserve an endangered language, get life coaching from teens, learn about neighborhood collations and issues, and try a dish by a local food vendor. StreetFest projects were selected by a committee including leaders of local cultural organizations. GrowNYC advisors and volunteers will help to reduce the environmental footprint of the StreetFest through recycling and waste-prevention plans compliant with NYC street event–recycling rules. This event previously drew nearly fifty thousand visitors to the neighborhood. Free for all ages, rain or shine!

• “BOWERY REIMAGINED”: New Museum collaborates with Columbia University, the Cooper Union, and Princeton University
The New Museum has invited three architecture schools to host a course dedicated to advancing the conversation about a host of issues facing the Bowery neighborhood, including what to preserve, what to add, density, gentrification, economic opportunities, and how to maintain the authentic vitality of this NYC locale. The resulting research will be presented in workshops and demonstrations at StreetFest.

• THE SPEECHBUSTER: an urban mobile table commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture and designed by Jimenez Lai and Grayson Cox
Located in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, the Speechbuster will provide a platform for discussions at the StreetFest. This performative structure is a replica of Storefront’s architectural footprint and will change its configuration throughout the day, accommodating a diverse set of events by invited thinkers.

Saturday May 4
“ADHOCRACY”: an exhibition presented by the New Museum at Studio 231
“Adhocracy” is an exploration of contemporary design that documents, through artifacts, objects, and films, an emergent culture of peer production, participation, collaborative networks, and shared resources. In the place of standardized, industrialized perfection, the exhibition embraces imperfection as evidence of an emerging force of identity, individuality, and nonlinearity. Curated by Joseph Grima, Editor of DOMUS magazine, and originally organized by IKSV for the 2012 Istanbul Design Biennial, this exhibition will be expanded and adapted for New York and the Museum’s 231 Bowery space. Visit for admission tickets.

Saturday May 4, 8 PM–midnight
“CHANGE OF STATE” (2013): site-specific projections will animate the façade of the New Museum at 235 Bowery, presented by Nuit Blanche New York (NBNY) Curated and produced by NBNY, “Change of State” is a follow-up to NBNY’s traffic-halting projection project “Let Us Make Cake,” a feature of the inaugural Festival in 2011. The new commission series of a dozen projections draws from a range of mediums—from painting and animation to text and video—with works by artists like Agathe de Bailliencourt, Cecil Balmond, Nicolas Guagnini, and Krzysztof Wodiczko. This art event will conclude the daylong StreetFest and illuminate the untapped communication potential of building façades and public spaces we often take for granted in our rush through the city. Commissioned by the New Museum; system design and technical sponsorship from the Media Merchants.

April 25–September 29, after stores close
AFTER HOURS 2: MURALS ON THE BOWERY presented by Art Production Fund
Continuing the site-specific roller shutter project from the 2011 Festival, the Art Production Fund has invited fourteen internationally acclaimed artists and one member of the public to design site-specific murals for the steel roller shutters of commercial supply shops that line the Bowery between East Houston and Grand Streets. APF engaged the local community by hosting an open call to select one artist to contribute to the installation series, chosen by a panel that includes Art Production Fund, the New Museum’s Gary Carrion-Murayari, art critic Linda Yablonsky, Bowery Poetry Club Founder Bob Holman, and high school art students from the New Museum’s G:Class program, who will ultimately select the winning entry.

The murals will be accompanied by a full map and cell phone audio guide. Select locations and participating artists include: 180 Bowery, Mel Bochner; 212 Bowery, Adam Pendleton; 213 Bowery, Michael Craig-Martin; 214 Bowery, Kerry James Marshall; 240 Bowery, Dana Schutz.

IDEAS CITY Festival image / information from IDEAS CITY

Location: New York, NY, USA

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The New Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1977 by Marcia Tucker, is a museum in New York City at 235 Bowery, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Address: 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002, USA

Director: Lisa Phillips

Founder: Marcia Tucker

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