Interstatial Spaces – Central Midtown, New York

INTERSTITIAL SPACES – CENTRAL MIDTOWN, NEW YORK CITYPROTOTYPE / PROVISIONAL SPACE / DESIGN PROPOSITIONThe study area for the studio will be privately owned public spaces in New York City\’s Central Midtown area. These spaces were created through the agency of New York City\’s incentive zoning program beginning in 1961. Often referred to as \’bonus plazas\’ the legal and design history of this type of open space in New York City is detailed in Jerold Kayden\’s book \”Privately Owned Public Spaces, the New York City Experience. Over 503 of these spaces exist in New York City predominately in Manhattan, with approximately 75 concentrated in the central mid-town area.This studio will address the issue of this type of open space as part of a larger inquiry of the potential of interstitial spaces. Interstitial spaces are difficult design problems and particularly challenging in densely built urban areas. The studio will look at spaces that are normally overlooked, poorly designed or underutilized. The focus will be on intervening spaces; the relatively small and narrow areas that occur between other things. Interstitial spaces occur in diverse situations and contexts. Some respond to unusual or particular program conditions, many are linear and involve connections and linkages, while others are left over bits and pieces. Often these spaces occupy the margins of infrastructure or are part of building structures. Interstitial spaces may be vertical as well as horizontal, autonomous as well as highly integrated. We will address social factors and environmental conditions as well as design concerns. A preoccupation of the studio will be with the medium of urban landscape and particularly issues of concept, materiality and fabrication.Studio methodology will be organized around three exercises: \”Prototype\” conceptualizing new open space systems and furnishings; \”Provisional Space\” addressing temporary interventions, and \”Design Proposition\”, focusing on developed design of specific open spaces. The studio will be structured as a set of related design exercises, readings, and parallel investigations to further an understanding of issues of content, representation, context, and scale. This studio will be conducted in parallel with design studios addressing the problem of privately owned public spaces at six other northeast region universities. Students from all GSD programs are welcome. There will be one unfunded field trip to New York City.