Education

Installation Detail from Palestinian Embroidery exhibition

Space Exploration: United Nations

Every tourist knows about The Met and MoMA, but New York is filled with many museums and exhibition venues off the beaten trail. In this series, we explore some of the city’s less well known cultural spaces and meet the people who organize them.

UN Exhibits

Within the United Nations Headquarters exists not only an incredible collection of permanent art and gifts given to the UN by member states, but also space in the Visitors’ Lobby which features changing exhibitions. These shows are dedicated to spreading awareness of key topics that the UN’s work addresses such as climate change, violence against women, and human rights. Additionally, there is an online gallery featuring information about current and past exhibitions.

We visited with Melissa Budinic whose office is responsible for exhibits open to the public at the UN.

New Project: Where are the UN exhibits located and how can one visit them?

Melissa Budinic: There are three “galleries” managed by the UN Exhibits office. Located in the United Nations Headquarters Visitors’ Lobby (1st Avenue at 46th Street in New York City), two exhibit spaces are located straight ahead of the entrance toward the left and the third space is located along the curved wall leading to the tour check in area.

Admission to the galleries and public areas is free with government-issued photo ID and open Monday-Friday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Saturday-Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (closed weekends January and February).

NP: Who organizes the shows and what are they about?

MB: Exhibitions are either developed internally at the UN or by outside entities/individuals. The exhibition proposals are reviewed by the Exhibits Committee. Shows must be educational, offer information on key issues relating to the work of the UN, and be endorsed by a relevant office within the UN (for example, an exhibition on child labor might be sponsored by UNICEF). Past exhibitions have revolved around topics such as the international campaign to ban land mines, ecological and economic importance of healthy oceans, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

NP: How often do they change?

MB: Exhibitions are usually on view for one to two months. We may have one, two, or three shows on view simultaneously, in addition to an ongoing exhibition about the history and renovation of the UN Headquarters in another space. We present approximately 15-20 exhibitions each year in the Visitors’ Lobby, many of which are also included on the website for those who can’t make it to New York to see them in person.

NP: Do you have any favorites?

MB: Not really. Each exhibit is about a different topic, so every time I get to learn something different about the kinds of work that the UN does.

NP: Can anyone submit at proposal for a show?

MB: Certainly, as long as they follow the guidelines.  The UN doesn’t present art and solo exhibitions. The shows must cover several countries. For details, please send an email to exhibitscommittee@un.org

NP: What’s up next?

MB: In January, we’ll be presenting an exhibition called State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda. The exhibition is organized by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and coincides with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. The exhibition is on view starting January 12, 2017.

NP: Thank you for sharing your time!

To learn about more interesting things to see and do while visiting the United Nations (like eating in the delegates dining room, taking a guided tour, and getting a special UN passport stamp), check out the UN website.

UN Exhibits entrance text

The exhibition Palestinian Embroidery: Threads of Continuity, Identity and Empowerment included stunning examples of elaborate embroidery by Palestinian women from the 19th through 21st centuries, photography, dolls, and dresses by contemporary Palestinian fashion designers.

Palestinian Embroidery

Exhibition image detail

UN Exhibits: Palestinian Embroidery 1

Intricate textiles

img_1608

Contemporary fashion faces a row of portraits of the UN Secretaries General in rug form donated by member state Iran.

img_1629

Installation view of Millennium Villages Project (MVP) – A photographic essay on sustainable development. This exhibition featured photographs of four projects implemented by the Millennium Villages in Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal. Led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Millennium Villages Project contributed to eliminating extreme poverty in ten African countries over ten years (2005-2015).

Gift from Thailand

A gift by member state Thailand to the United Nations, one of many remarkable pieces of the collection on view at the UN Headquarters.

Read More
The Planets by Nanna Debois Buhl

My Very Eccentric Mom Joyfully Sells Unique Ninjas at PS163Q

In 2013, artist Nanna Debois Buhl received a commission through the Public Art for Public Schools program to create a work of art for a new addition to a high school in Flushing, Queens. Nanna and her consultant, Nathalie Pozzi, reached out to New Project for assistance with the fabrication of the sculptural installation.

After visiting the school, Nanna created a proposal for a model of our solar system combined with a collection of mnemonic phrases written by students from the school. Both components were to be made out of steel with a bright, red, glossy, powder coated finish.

New Project worked with the artist, her consultant, the NYC School Construction Authority, engineers, and the general contractors to ensure the work would be fabricated and installed as the artist envisioned as the school addition was being built.

We spoke to Nanna about The Planets, her new installation at PS 163Q in Flushing, NY.

NP: How did this project come about? When did it start?

NDB: The project began in spring of 2013, when I was invited to participate in a competition for a public commission for PS163Q initiated by the NYC Department of Education, NYC School Construction Authority, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program.

I made a site visit to get an understanding of the school, its profile, and its architecture. My proposal was an installation for the school’s lobby consisting of a model of the solar system and a collection of phrases, written by students from the school, for remembering the order of the planets in the solar system (planetary mnemonics).

Over the last three years, the work has been developed in collaboration with New Project (fabrication), Nathalie Pozzi (artist’s consultant) and Anni’s (graphic design).

Have you done other public commissions or works in schools?

Yes, Journey to the End of the Night (2010) is a public commission I have made for a high school in Denmark. It covers the four walls of the school’s canteen. Cut out on wooden wall panels, the motif is a map of the position of the stars over the high school on the opening day in 2010. The star formations are accompanied with titles, which are places – from literature, film, music, art, philosophy, and science; works that the students may encounter during their time at the school.

My public commission Atlas of Anatomy (2013) is created for an educational institution in Denmark that houses nursing, teaching, physiotherapy, social education, and social work programs. Silkscreened on 3,000 square feet of inner glass walls, the work consists of 15 photographs of body parts of people in different ages and a cut-up text composed of 133 medical, philosophical, and literary quotes about the body. Many of the quotes were culled from the library of the institution whose educational programs, to a large degree, deal with various aspects of the human body. I think of the commission as an abstract interpretation of the historical anatomical reference book, a journey through a collective body composed of many bodies and voices.

You mentioned that these mnemonic texts (acronyms which take the initial letter of each list item to create a memorable phrase) were created by the students. How did you get them to participate?

I was in dialog with the (now former) principal who gathered a group of students who were interested in participating. I gave them the guidelines for constructing the sentences which they then wrote.

Were you surprised by the responses you received? Do you have any favorites?

It was so exciting receiving the texts from the students. I love the fact that they have used language that I would never have come up with: Nutella Sandwiches and Ninjas, and names such as Mei and Ming – representative of the demographics of the school, which has many Mandarin speaking students.

What other surprises did you encounter in the design process?

The typographic aspect of the work was developed in collaboration with Denmark-based graphic designer Anni’s. We decided to work with the format of the writing exercise book and to think of the two walls where the texts are placed as pages in an open book. The letters of the mnemonics were placed on lines alluding to the exercise book format (and making the installation process more simple). At the end of the last text block there are some empty lines – a built in invitation to continue constructing new sentences. The work combines a scientific model (the solar system) and the imaginative universes of the children (the texts). I think of the model as a motor in a machine that can continue producing texts. And I see the students’ texts as a kind of conceptual poetry (constraint-based writing).

The work invites students to interact with it, to come up with their own mnemonics. Does all of your work entail collaboration or a back and forth of sorts?

Conversations (that be with experts in a given field, an art work, or, as here, a group of students) are always an important part of my working process. In the three public commissions I have made for educational institutions, I have invited people to contribute with textual material: For Atlas of Anatomy I made a “call for quotes” and for Journey to the End of the Night a lot of people helped me gather titles. I think of these works as cacophonic and therefore I also like the working process to have a collective aspect.

A big difference between an art work in a white cube setting and in a public commission is that the audience of the latter lives with the work for a long period of time. I, therefore, like to include an element in the public commissions that can unfold or be discovered over time (such as The Planets built in invitation to make up new sentences).

What was the most interesting aspect of working on this project?

Involving the students and receiving their texts. Developing a work for this specific context taking the educational setting and the audience (students and teachers) into account. And seeing the work transform from a 3D model to an actual physical work. After 3 years of preparation and fabrication it was stunning to enter the school lobby last week and see the work installed, finally.

What’s next?

My next project, I Imagined That Things Were Speaking, is a solo show at MSU Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb opening in October 2016. It will consist of a show inside the museum and a large projection on the façade of the museum building. All the exhibited works are photographic “readings” of various cityscapes through objects, plants, animals, and architectural components. The exhibition will thus both address a bypassing audience in the street and a museum audience. I am currently thinking a lot about composing the exhibition, so that it can speak to these different viewers with their different attention spans.

To see more of Nanna’s work, visit her website.

the-planets_text
Mnemonic text cut by our CNC machine

Steel planets orbiting in the shop
The planets in the shop before they begin their orbit

the-planets_arms
The arms are inspected after welding

Beautiful powder coating!
Planets post powder coating

Artist Nanna Debois Buhl watches as the work is installed
Artist Nanna Debois Buhl watches as the work is installed

Installation in process
In the beginning, there was only Neptune

Lobby view
View of The Planets from the lobby entrance

 

Read More
NYCxDESIGN

NYCxDESIGN Returns May 3 – 17, 2016

The New York City area is home to more than 44,000 practicing designers—a number greater than any other metro area in the US and almost as many as Chicago and LA combined—according to New York City Economic Development Corporation President Maria Torres-Spring. NYCxDESIGN, which takes place May 3 – 17, 2016, is New York City’s official citywide celebration of design.  The annual event, now in its fourth year, features more than 500 events at locations throughout the five boroughs and incorporates 17 different design disciplines including architecture, product design, design thinking, and urban design. From talks with starchitects to design showroom tours to consumer-friendly fairs featuring wares by up and coming designers, NYCxDESIGN offers something for everyone. NewProject is proud to be part of this dynamic, creative community, supporting many of the designers, architects, and artists who will be presenting their work at NYCxDESIGN. We hope to see you at some of these great events. Here are a few of our picks:

Design Noir
Design Noir
May 7 – 20, 2016
7:00 pm – 12:00 am
at Brooklyn Arts Fellowship

Design Noir is a showcase exhibiting new works by Black and Latino designers. Curated by Dave Jones, the exhibit will be free and open to the public with many of the works for sale.

BklynDesigns
Bklyn Designs
May 6 – 8, 2016
Varying hours
at Brooklyn Expo

Founded 13 years ago by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Bklyn Designs is the borough’s premier design event shining a spotlight on the many talented designers, architects, artists, and artists who reside here. The event features exhibitions, products (shop local!), installations, hands-on demos, a conference program, pop up lounges, as well as food and drinks from Brooklyn’s finest.  $15 for general public, free to the trade.

NYC Design Talks
NYC Design Talks
May 5 – 14, 2016
4:00 – 8:00 pm
at The Cooper Union, Parsons School for Design at The New School, and Fashion Institute of Technology

This robust program includes discussions about design for social impact, the future of fashion employment, cognitive computing, and an evening with Rafael Vinoly and Michael Shvo moderated by Paul Goldberger. Interested in learning about the Hudson Yards project? DDC’s design and construction excellence program? How artists and developers are planning together in Staten Island? Then check out these free talks!

 

For the full calendar of events, visit www.nycxdesign.com.

Read More
New Project birdhouse

MAKE YOUR OWN BIRDHOUSE

New Project gives back to the community and this child-friendly project was just one example. Putting our CNC machine to good use, we created these snap-together birdhouses for a class project to help kids learn sequencing tasks. New Project designed the birdhouses using Rhino and cut the pieces out of a single sheet of MDO plywood using our CNC machine. We then bagged together easy-to-assemble kits for the 1st grade class at PS-10 in Brooklyn. New Project Co-Founder and CEO Dennis Potami visited the class to explain and lead the project. Each child assembled the pieces without nails or glue and then took home the birdhouse they proudly made in class. We really enjoyed developing this fun project that hopefully inspired a new generation of thinkers and builders!

New Project birdhouse
Tim designs the birdhouse in Rhino

New Project birdhouse
The birdhouse kits and assembled sample

New Project birdhouse
Dennis explains the project to the first grade class

New Project birdhouse
Dennis demonstrates the birdhouse assembly

Version 2

The finished product and the happy builders

Read More
New Project, Marthas Vineyard Art Collection

ART FOR THE PEOPLE- ART IN HOSPITALS

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital’s Permanent Collection 


FullSizeRender

Preliminary sketch for a custom pedestal and case for a Stella Waitzkin book sculpture.

Last week, we were approached by a lovely couple who were looking to build an enclosed pedestal and mount for a cast-resin sculpture titled Wedding Book by the late artist, Stella Waitzkin. Assisting collectors in building conservational and practical means of displaying their acquisitions is something we have specialized in since we opened our doors, however, this particular circumstance was something very special.

The couple that came to visit us here in Brooklyn was Edward F. Miller and Monina von Opel, of Martha’s Vineyard. This sculpture is not destined for this family’s own private collection, quite the contrary. Mr. Miller is the Vice Chairman of the board of Trustees at Martha’s Vineyard hospital, the only hospital in Dukes County. For the past three years, Mr. Miller and his wife have dedicated themselves to advancing the hospital’s permanent collection. Placing art in hospitals has been a hot topic as of late, and recent articles by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal have shown a significant increase in awareness of the health benefits art can have on not only the patients, but on their families and caregivers as well. Transforming the traditionally sterile and industrial environment of a hospital can help people heal, as recent scientific research has suggested. So, while this is not necessarily a new concept, the model set in place by Mr. Miller and his colleagues is certainly something to be admired.

Photo: Edward Miller and Monina von Opel, husband and wife team and public faces of the collection. (Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine)

Photo: Edward Miller and Monina von Opel
(Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine)

This is not art for art’s sake, this collection has been developed and polished with the Hospital’s patients, families, employees, and location in mind. While the collection does not include any million-dollar listings, the Hospital has catalogued over 350 works of art that have all been donated to the institution. That’s right. The Hospital is not reallocating resources for acquisitions that should go towards providing the highest quality of healthcare to its community. In fact, not only is the artwork donated, but you’ll often find Mr. Miller and Mrs. Opel hanging and lighting the artwork themselves in the hallways of the Hospital.

14225

Photo: The hallways of the Hospital are lined with over 350 pieces that are in some way associated with the Vineyard. (Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine)

Having recently undergone a multi-million dollar building renovation, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital had allocated a small budget to purchase and hang some nondescript poster art that you could find in any hospital in any city of the country. But that wasn’t good enough for Mr. Miller and his companions. He wanted the art on the walls to be able to reflect what was happening outside of the walls. In an article for the Martha’s Vineyard Times, Mr. Miller was quoted :

“The hospital’s architects offered us art, but it was all generic. You could be anywhere. And we wanted you to know you were on the Vineyard. We have so many creative people on the Island, we thought it would be a fantastic thing to bring that creativity into what would otherwise be very institutional.”

Martha’s Vineyard is a place that is bursting with creativity, so why not take advantage of that fact and pay tribute to those who call the Vineyard their home and provide respite for those looking for just a glimpse outside the hospital walls. Catalogued and labeled as any proper collection should be; visitors, patients, staff members, and even the general public can be found at any time during the day wandering the hallways of the Hospital admiring the work.

ss-hospsital-painting-2-up-700x357

Photo: “Moonrise/Summer,” oil on linen by Kib Bramhall, outside the intensive care unit waiting room.” Photo by Susan Safford (Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Times)

New Project firmly believes in the power of art to evoke emotion, tell a story, engage, and challenge the viewer. Above all though, we believe in arts ability to help heal. If a piece of art can offer someone a moment of peace, encourage someone to get up out of a bed, or provide an escape from a stressful environment, then it is doing its job.

There is a screening process for all donations, and of course they cannot accept every piece into the collection. Visit the Hospital’s website for more information and to view the extensive collection.

think & build

Read More
Cornell Tech

Cornell Tech Custom Furniture

Modular Custom Furniture for Cornell Tech- “It’s Not Our Space, It’s Theirs”


 

Cornell Tech's Studio inside Google's Chelsea building

Cornell Tech’s Studio inside Google’s Chelsea building

New York City is no stranger to arts-specific educational institutions. Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs are home to Parsons the New School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, and the New York Film Academy, among many others. Each offering their own set of discipline-focused curricula, these schools have produced countless alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their respective fields. With the recent shift toward the technological and with start-ups securing their place as a permanent fixture of our future, it was only a matter of time before New York’s already impressive educational offerings included a technology-based school which would focus on preparing its students with the information technology skills they’ll need to be at the forefront of the rapidly-changing technological landscape. Enter, Cornell Tech.

Seen as a way to increase entrepreneurship and job growth in the city’s technology sector, Mayor Bloomberg announced the plans for Cornell Tech’s 12 acre Roosevelt Island campus back in 2011. The first phase of construction is slated to be completed in 2017, with the remainder of the campus scheduled to be finished in 2037. In the interim, in order to establish a foot-hold in the city, Cornell Tech has begun offering their graduate program out of a temporary home inside Google’s Chelsea building. The school was looking for a space that is open and flexible, where students, faculty, and guests could interact and collaborate in unique and personalized ways. Enter, New Project.

New Project was contracted by Rockwell Group, a local architectural design firm, to fabricate large mobile modules that the students can move, rearrange, and manipulate to create unique spaces for classes, lectures, study, and lounging. Rockwell Group accurately defines the resulting creation as a “learning toolkit of working hubs and surfaces that encourage collaboration”.

Using Rockwell Group’s original designs, New Project fabricated and installed four freestanding, modular structures in the school’s “Studio” in 2013. Each module was equipped with white boards and cork boards, as well as access to dropped electrical power sources so that students could easily attach computers, projectors, monitors, etc. Various seating and large work surfaces make up the remainder of the space, which could be transformed and moved to accommodate a number of various needs including events, lectures and presentations. Additionally, we built a custom reception desk in the shape of Roosevelt Island, the university’s future home, using layered furniture-grade birch plywood.

A year and a half later, we’ve returned to the campus and spoke with Cornell Tech staff members Tamika Morales, Administrative Assistant, and Aaron Holiday, Managing Entrepreneurial Officer, to see how the units have been received and manipulated by the students. Here’s what they had to say:

NP: In your experience here at Cornell Tech, how have you noticed the students using the furniture in “The Studio”?
TM: The students have become very comfortable with the furniture. They use the large piece, dubbed “Mamma Jamma”, the most. I’ve seen it used as a large desk and study area, a stage, and many other things. All of the furniture is used on a daily basis in a number of different ways. The furniture has actually become a very important part of the student’s “Hack Days”.
 
NP: Can you elaborate on what a Hack Day is and how the furniture is used in the process?
AH: Hack Days occur three times a semester. The objective of this 24 hour event is for the students to make accelerated progress on the projects they are building on campus, particularly technology and software. It creates a collaborative culture for people who are actively building things. The furniture is an integral part of hack day. We put the studio in a way that its setup is completely unusable; tables are flipped upside down, things are all over the place. Tamika and the team will pile all of the furniture up in the middle of the room with the white boards all around the space. Then, at the count of three, students will race and go after everything and grab what they want. It’s actually quite incredible to watch this completely disheveled space transform into a useable work area in less than a minute. The students can create and convert it into their own space, They take ownership not only of the project they are working on but the space they’re working in. This can only happen because the furniture is modular and on wheels.
 
NP: That sounds exciting! Reminds me of the cornucopia scene in The Hunger Games, without all the violence of course. When we built the furniture we were really hoping that the students would take ownership of the space and utilize it according to their needs. It’s nice to see they are. Are there any other events that come to mind that the furniture was manipulated and used for?
TM: Yes! We use it all the time for seminars, announcements, panel discussions, and most often for our weekly guest speakers. We call it Conversations In The Studio, where luminaries in the tech community are invited to come and speak to about entrepreneurship, engineering, art and other topics. The conversations are moderated by the students. We can pull out the stage, and set up chairs, but the rest of the furniture is pushed to the sides to accommodate the crowds. Sometimes the Google people come down to hear the speaker.
 
NP: Have the students or speakers used the furniture in any way that has surprised you?
TM: I saw someone actually doing pull-ups one day on Mamma Jamma. I also once saw someone turn one one of the pieces into their own space, complete with a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside, they found the remotes that are hidden inside the desk… they really take ownership. The magnetic Cornell Tech sign gets moved everywhere and is played with to take pictures and whatnot. It’s always in a new spot.
 
NP: There is a lot going on here everyday, and it’s not a huge space. It almost seems like this kind of set up was necessary. If the furniture was static and heavy, you would have been very limited as to what you could do with the space.
TM: Yes, I think the students would have been very frustrated. It wouldn’t have the same energy. This isn’t our space, it’s their space.

We have to say, we knew the furniture would be utilized, but we were pleasantly surprised how they have incorporated the furniture into their daily lives on campus. It is interesting that physical furniture is so heavily manipulated and depended on in such a technological setting. We are so proud of what we built, and think Rockwell Group really hit the nail on the head with the design.

We leave you with some visuals from the planning, fabrication, and installation phases of the project. Enjoy!

IMG_0125

Cornell Tech is temporarily housed on the 3rd floor of Google’s building located in Chelsea. This beautiful neon sign greets you in the lobby. Google created its moniker using letterforms from actual old neon signs found around New York City. The space is being generously donated by Google until 2017.

 

DSC_0558

Before we could begin building, we had to make sure it would all fit with enough space to move around. We didn’t want a square peg-round hole situation. We used tape on the floor and built to-scale cardboard frames to verify the width, depth and height of each module.

 

DSC_0628

We started out by welding the frames together in our shop, then began fitting the various wooden surfaces and walls inside. Because all of the furniture was to be raised on wheels, it was important that all of the pieces were elevated enough as to not touch the floor.

 

Frank installing some panels into “Mamma Jamma”, the largest unit in the set.

 

 

DSC_0627

In addition to the free-standing modules, we also fabricated a few extra components including this bench/stage/table/bed… the list goes on.

 

DSC_0656

Here’s the bench/stage getting a final smooth coat of Cornell Red.

 

DSC_0666

The magnetic Cornell Tech sign

 

R-Island v2014

Shop drawing for the Roosevelt Island table.

 

DSC_0669

Willen built the Roosevelt Island table out of 1/2″ numerous layers of furniture-grade birch plywood. Each layer was cut using the CNC to replicate the southern tip of the Island, which will be the school’s permanent home come 2017.

 

The desk was built as a hollow construction so that it would fit over and extend the work surface of an existing desk. Each layer was strategically seamed so as to limit the amount of material needed.

 

DSC_0687

Here’s the desk with the top layer attached. 

 

DSC_0688

The finished product ready for installation.

 

Installation day was a busy affair and we had the majority of our team on site. Did we mention all the units had to breakdown into elements that would fit through some fairly small doorways and turn down some narrow hallways, then reassembled on site?

 

Willen and the rolling countertop.

 

DSC_0695

Lee adjusting the counter weight to the sliding clear dry-erase board that can be positioned in front of two monitors. 

 

DSC_0714

The Cornell Tech sign is magnetic and can attach to any of the pieces. Here is Michael attaching the finishing touches.

 

DSC_1047

Our beautiful Roosevelt Island reception desk designed by Rockwell Group.

 

Cornell In Use

The furniture in use in The Studio.

 

1234_13_011.CR2

‘Conversations In The Studio’ lecture series. Photo courtesy of Cornell Tech’s Facebook Page.

 

Also, check out Rockwell Group’s Vimeo Page for a time-lapse video of Cornell’s Studio in use.

Think and Build.

Read More