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2017 Design Biennial Boston


Image courtesy Mark Pasnik.

The Design Biennial Boston recognizes emerging architects, landscape architects, and designers who have created inspiring and innovative practices in New England. Established in 2008, the juried awards program commissions a series of small-scale installations, fosters a rising generation of talented practitioners, engages the public with imaginative ideas, and enriches the city's public realm through installations and related programming.

Following an open call for entries which included submissions from each of New England’s states, the jury selected four firms whose work provides ample evidence of the region’s vibrant pool of designers. The winners include: Jennifer Bonner of MALL, Rania Ghosn and El Hadi Jazairy of DESIGN EARTH, Daniel Ibañez of Margen-Lab, and Yasmin Vobis and Aaron Forrest of ULTRAMODERNE. The four selected teams will each construct site-specific installations on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and will have access to advanced fabrication equipment provided by Autodesk BUILD Space.

Find the installations adjacent to BSA Space

The four site-specific installations include Another Axon by Jennifer Bonner/MALL, composed of minimal art objects and a stand of twelve trees, all of which rely on contemporary reproduction strategies; Primitive by ULTRAMODERNE, an array of triangular columns that form a square plan with a circular void cut out—an architectural primitive in every sense of the word; Blue Marble Circus by DESIGN EARTH, a geodesic sphere that echoes “Blue Marble,” the iconic symbol of the environmental movement; and Ways of Wood by MARGEN-LAB, nine logs that gradually transform across their length into contemporary interpretations of raw natural materials, shaped via computer numerical control (CNC) milling.

The jury for the 2017 Design Biennial Boston included Dina Deitsch (Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts), Shauna Gillies-Smith (Ground), Mark Lamster (Dallas Morning News), Keith Krumwiede (NJIT) along with sponsors Rick Rundell (Autodesk BUILD Space), Karin Goodfellow (Boston Art Commission), Josiah Stevenson (Boston Society of Architects), Michael Evans (Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics), and Lucas Cowan (Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy). The installations and related exhibition will be curated by Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and Mark Pasnik (over,under/pinkcomma gallery).

The public installations are on view along the Rose Kennedy Greenway through October 8.

The 2017 Design Biennial Boston is sponsored by Autodesk BUILD Space, the Boston Art Commission, the Boston Society of Architects/AIA, the BSA Foundation, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, over,under/pinkcomma gallery, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

The Boston Society of Architects/AIA (BSA) reaches its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2017. That’s 150 years of design professionals working together to build often inventive and creative buildings for this city and for the people who live in it. It’s really quite amazing—150 years of progress, innovation, standard-setting, collaboration, and community building.

Other initiatives marking the 150th anniversary may include: an exhibition timeline at BSA Space focusing on the BSA's achievements over the last 150 years, weekly essays from a leader or ally of the organization, and plaques to be mounted on design award winning buildings.