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Young architect granted an installation at MoMA PS1
Feb 14, 2014

David Benjamin, architect at the New York-based firm The Living, has been selected as the winner of this year’s Young Architects Program (YAP) by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for his project “Hy-Fi,” which will open at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City this June.
Now in its 15th edition, YAP at MoMA and MoMA PS1 challenges architects to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that provides shade, seating and water. They must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling.

The Living, drawn from among five finalists, will design a temporary urban landscape for the “2014 Warm Up” summer music series in MoMA PS1’s outdoor courtyard. Using biological technologies combined with cutting-edge computation and engineering to create new building materials, it will use a new method of bio-design, resulting in a structure that is 100% organic material.
The structure temporarily diverts the natural carbon cycle to produce a building that grows out of nothing but earth and returns to nothing but earth—with almost no waste, no energy needs and no carbon emissions. This approach offers a new vision for society’s approach to physical objects and the built environment. It also offers a new definition of local materials, and a direct relationship to New York state agriculture and innovation culture, New York City artists and non-profits, and Queens community gardens.

Hy-Fi is a circular tower of organic and reflective bricks, which were designed to combine the unique properties of two new materials. The organic bricks are produced through an innovative combination of corn stalks (that otherwise have no value) and specially developed living root structures, a process that was invented by Ecovative, a company that The Living is collaborating with.
Overall, the structure offers shade, color, light, views and a future-oriented experience that is designed to be refreshing, thought provoking, and full of wonder and optimism.

Previous winners of YAP are SHoP/Sharples Holden Pasquarelli (2000), ROY (2001), William E. Massie (2002), Tom Wiscombe / EMERGENT (2003), nARCHITECTS (2004), Xefirotarch (2005), OBRA (2006), Ball-Nogues (2007), WORKac (2008), MOS (2009), Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (2010), Interboro Partners (2011), HWKN (2012), and CODA (2013).
Photos: Renderings of The Living’s Hy-Fi. Images courtesy of The Living.

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