March 25, 2013–May 17, 2013
Mariana Ibañez, Curator
Developed as a working curation of the environment of the Graduate School of Design, the Platform 5 book and exhibition have been designed to present various lenses through which to view the School in the past academic year, its present trajectories, and its future directions.
The book’s table of contents makes explicit the prevailing themes that informed production and debates in the School and identifies the areas of sometimes surprising intersection. The volume’s diverse material—drawn from studios, seminars, thesis research, events, and other activities—was organized in seven sections: Metrics, Matter, Activism, Discipline, Synthesis, Conjecture, and Format. These categories represent the broad spectrum of agendas, courses, initiatives, and collaborations that explored design thinking and design production. This organization was introduced as a framework that intentionally differs from the departmental and course structure of the School, with the aim of presenting a transversal reading of our programs that highlights both disciplinary concerns and shared explorations.
The Platform 5 exhibition proposes further recategorizations and new cross-references among the GSD’s diverse output over the past year. The student work is repositioned, with the addition of some content not featured in the book, to connect the work of the School through collections of like formats and processes of production.
The literal overlaps of the work in the exhibition, and perhaps unexpected adjacencies, reveal the complexities with which the design disciplines increasingly contend. The content displayed here is encoded, using colored lines and work descriptions, with the categorized section where it may be found in Platform 5. The result is a “barcode” of sorts, encrypted with the academic design investigations unique to this academic year.
The GSD is an exceptional environment of continuous debate and production. The agendas and pedagogical frameworks are complex and constantly evolving. Far from being a complete collection, Platform 5 compiles the outcome of prominent work and exchanges that occurred during a year full of events, projects, symposia, and colloquia—both formal and improvised—that continually reinforced the dual importance of expertise and inquiry. The many people who came to the GSD as students, alumni, fellows, faculty, lecturers, conference participants—to discuss, to instruct—all arrived with their local knowledge and, within the School, created new relationships and ideas. This exhibition is our attempt to share these concerns and discoveries with a larger audience.
Associate Professor of Architecture
Platform 5 Book