Reprogramming the City: Opportunities for Urban Infrastructure, the new exhibition at BSA Space
, presents a global overview of ways in which the existing infrastructure of cities around the world is being redesigned, repurposed, and reimagined to serve alternate and expanded functions for urban dwellers and visitors. Reprogramming the City celebrates more than 20 examples of imaginative reuse and repurposing of urban infrastructure, from physical objects to the citys most functional systems and surfaces. Cities represented include London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Boston.
Curated and designed by renowned urban design director Scott Burnham, Reprogramming the City reveals the city as a creative platform for new approaches to urban design. As Burnham explains: Designers, architects, and cities themselves are realizing that in an era of limited resources, there is a vast amount of untapped potential in the existing physical stock of the city. A new approach of designing with the existing materials of the city is bringing a new resourcefulness and sense of opportunity to the urban landscape. This new spirit and attitude is not only expanding the functionality of urban objects and areas but [also] increasing the creative spirit of the city itself.
Reprogramming the City is well aligned with the BSA Space mission to encourage exchange between the profession and the public, says BSA president Mike Davis FAIA. Its an ideal opportunity to promote an innovative exhibition that highlights the accessible, fun, and adventuring aspects of architecture and urban design.
The exhibition, which spans an array of disciplines including architecture, design, engineering, and urban planning, is a media-rich global overview of this new spirit of resourcefulness in urban design featuring numerous installations, videos, photographs, renderings, and models.
Highlights of the exhibition include:
City Meter, developed by Mayo Nissen and Scott Burnham in collaboration with the City of Boston, is an exploration into how parking meters can be repurposed to better serve all citizens of the city in which they are installed.
UTEC Water Billboard, proposed by the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima, Peru, converts the regions 98 percent relative humidity air into drinking water.
Urban Air, created by Los Angeles artist Stephen Glassman, represents an initiative to transform billboard structures into living, breathing, air-cleaning bamboo gardens.
Softwalks, designed by Bland Hoke and Howard Chambers, is a kit of parts including a chair, counter, light, and planter that, when attached to scaffolding structures, transform them into temporary assembled areas for public rest or play. Showing for the first time in Boston, this large installation features a new bench entirely funded by Kickstarter.