Marion Weiss and Michael A. Manfredi, edited by Justin Fowler Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2013
Biased toward expediting movement and inherently resistant to supporting other forms of inhabitation, transportation infrastructure is an archaic monument to mono-functional use. With ever increasing levels of urban density throughout the world, infrastructure in the city is an underworked territory that must sustain a larger agenda. Evolutionary Infrastructures represents an intermediate episode in a series of infrastructural studio investigations led by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi. This studio conducted at the Harvard Graduate School of Design engaged a stretch of expressway in the north of Manhattan, bookended to the west by the George Washington Bridge, and straddled by four housing towers and a bus station designed by Pier Luigi Nervi.
Completing this de facto utopian project raises new questions: how can this dynamic, but unfinished hybrid be reconsidered as a new megaform that incorporates the specificity of architectural scale with the systemic logics of ecology, landscape, and infrastructure? Supported by contributions from Mohsen Mostafavi, Kenneth Frampton, Preston Scott Cohen, Nader Tehrani, Keller Easterling, Felipe Correa, Paul Lewis, and Hashim Sarkis, this studio research document seeks to project a future for the mega-project in the contemporary metropolis.