Want to support FIGMENT? Our annual kickoff / benefit event is happening May 4th at DROM in the East Village. A celebration of participatory, community-based creativity featuring special guests, surprise performances, exclusive raffle and auction items, dancing and honoring lower manhattan participatory art leaders Matt Goldman & Renee Rolleri, founding members of Blue Man Group and Blue School.
What: FIGMENT NYC Groundbreaking 2015: Below 14th Street
When: Monday May 4th 2015 from 6:30pm – 11:00pm
Where: Drom, 85 Avenue A, New York, NY
Tickets: Tickets available here ($50 / advance tickets; $150 / "Bowery" Premium package; $250 / "Broadway" VIP package; $75 / door, if available)
RSVP on Facebook: Find us, and invite your friends, on Facebook!
This year we selected two incredible Architectural Pavilions to be installed on Governors Island. Billion Oyster Pavilion by BanG studio of New York City and Organic Growth by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects of Madrid and London. Both projects have recently launch Kickstarter campaigns to fund the creation of their pavilions. Click here to see both campaigns and to learn how to get involved.
Billion Oyster Pavilion
by BanG Studio (Babak Bryan, AIA; Henry Grosman; and Suzie Betts; with Sam Janis, Harbor School/Billion Oyster Project), New York, NY
BanG’s proposal for the Billion Oyster Pavilion joins two of Governors Island’s most exciting enterprises: FIGMENT/ENYA/SEAoNY’s City of Dreams Pavilion and The New York Harbor School’s Billion Oyster Project. The materials that form the woven canopy (steel rebar, nylon rope, and hose clamps) are used in their harbor restoration work. The base of the pavilion is comprised of custom-cast “Reef Balls,” a restoration device that the school will also use as part of their habitat creation effort. The pavilion will be donated to the Harbor School and its materials will be completely re-used on the island once the summer ends and the pavilion is decommissioned.
Support their Kickstarter campaign here!
by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects (Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno, Sally Hart, Adriana Cabello Plasencia, Alejandro Espallargas Omedas and Alfonso Aracil Sánchez), Madrid and London
Izaskun Chinchilla Architects’ design takes inspiration from nature to create an innovative and flexible solution that directly engages with local communities and familiar materials. Flower structures such as those found in hydrangeas have the ability to respond to the natural environment, growing and morphing to remain in balance with nature. Izaskun believes architecture must adopt a similar responsiveness, adapting to uncertain budgets, social change and ecological dynamics naturally, beautifully and intuitively. The proposed design employs commonly found materials, giving them a new life after they have become unfit for their original purpose. The design utilizes broken umbrellas, old stools and damaged bicycle wheels, which several institutions in New York are already recycling. As with mop-head flowers, the pavilion is composed of many smaller elements, all of which can be dismantled and re-used after the summer. Branches composed of several umbrellas and tripods, can be easily reused as sun, wind, and rain protection in outdoor spaces all around the city. Larger elements can be beautiful indoor chandeliers and can be useful for community centers or other public spaces. Izaskun Chinchilla is a Senior Teaching Fellow, Senior Research Associate and Public Engagement Fellow at Bartlett School of Architecture, University College of London.
Support their Kickstarter campaign here!
Join the FIGMENT team and community on Tues. Feb. 10 at Open House Club (244 East Houston) from 7:00-10:00 PM for our February Meet & Greet event.
The FIGMENT NYC team will be on hand to share exciting updates about our 2015 Sculpture Program and City of Dreams Pavilions (yes, plural!). Bring us your questions about submitting a proposal for FIGMENT Minigolf, the Treehouse, or FIGMENT weekend, and if you're interested in, or just curious about volunteering or getting involved in FIGMENT in any way, this is a great opportunity to learn more.
We'll be joined this month by the team from ALPHA; FIGMENT's weekend camping event for creators. Happening in Maryland, April 24th-26th, we use a bucolic space for workshops, skill-shares, building and burning (of art) too. Meet the ALPHA team and connect with other attendees to plan projects. Our effigy team, ALPHAGY, will be on hand as well and looking for volunteers. Learn more about the event at alpha.figmentproject.org and rsvp for the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/1539870592945929/ .
As always, the good company of our amazing FIGMENT/ALPHA community is assured, so join us to round out your Tuesday with a little creative energy and great people no matter whether or not you have questions.
Pleas RSVP to the Facebook event here, and please help us spread the word.
FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) are pleased to announce that a distinguished jury has selected two winning designs in the fifth annual City of Dreams Pavilion Competition: Billion Oyster Pavilion by BanG Studio of New York City and Organic Growth by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects of Madrid and London. Pending approvals and fundraising, these pavilions will both be assembled on Governors Island and open to the public for the summer 2015 season.
2014 has been an amazing year... FIGMENT was in 10 cities in 3 countries, impacting some 250,000 people. We appreciate everything that you have done to get us here... your creativity, your volunteerism, your financial support.
We hope we can count on you to support FIGMENT once more before the new year.
You may have heard that last week FIGMENT decided to decline a donation for the first time in our history, from the Santacon event in NYC. It was a difficult decision, but we want to maintain our integrity focusing on free, family-friendly events that celebrate creativity and build community.
To make up for this gap, an anonymous FIGMENT supporter has offered to match all donations we receive until 12/31. Your tax-deductible gift to FIGMENT today will be doubled. Please help us one more time before 12/31. Your contribution today will do twice as much to reach people with participatory art and build community around creativity.
From everyone at FIGMENT, we want to wish you and your community a peaceful and regenerative holiday season!
Photo (c) 2014 Anthony Collins, FIGMENT NYC
The first FIGMENT meet & greet of 2015 is coming up on Tuesday, January 13th.
We hope you'll join us to help us kick off the ninth season of FIGMENT NYC.
Join the team of doers, artists, volunteers, contributors, and participants that make both FIGMENT weekend and our summer long sculpture, treehouse, and minigolf courses happen. We'll be on hand to answer questions, share stories, and explore ways to make this year's event the best FIGMENT yet.
WHEN: Tuesday, January 13th, 7:00-10:00 PM
WHERE: Open House, located at 244 East Houston.
RSVP to our Facebook event here, and please share and help us spread the word.
Thanks for helping the FIGMENT community thrive; we hope to see you soon.
George Ingalls and the FIGMENT NYC team.
There have been recent inquiries into FIGMENT's relationship with Santacon. Unfortunately, none of the so-called media outlets that have published articles have asked FIGMENT for comment prior to publishing. Therefore, we hereby voluntarily give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Happy reading.
FIGMENT was conceptualized about ten years ago by a group of community organizers who were interested in participatory arts. Some recent articles have suggested that FIGMENT and Burning Man are related. To clarify, we have been inspired to some extent by the artistic and communal effort ethos of Burning Man, but we are in no way officially associated with Burning Man.
Santacon was originally an effort to bring participatory art into a public sphere, as illustrated by recent interviews with John Law from San Francisco's Cacophony Society. As such, many FIGMENT artists and organizers have participated in Santacon in the past, and many Santacon enthusiasts value the role that FIGMENT plays in bringing participatory art into a family-friendly public arena. FIGMENT accepted a donation from Santacon in 2013, and we were apparently one of four charities that were beneficiaries of the event.
Santacon has evolved from its roots, however, in a way that is perceived by many to be out of control and even dangerous. FIGMENT cannot be associated with an event of this nature, and we have decided not to accept any donations from Santacon this year.
As with our standing commitment not to accept corporate donations, we will make decisions on all future funders of FIGMENT with a priority of upholding the integrity of our work: FIGMENT is a free, family-friendly celebration of creativity that builds community and invites everyone to participate as an artist.
We at FIGMENT have been aware that there is crossover between participants of our events and Santacon. FIGMENT is a transparent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity, but because Santacon organizers have remained hidden from the public and participants, there has been no way to know definitively of any potential overlap in current leadership.
Jim Glaser, a founding member of FIGMENT's Board of Directors, has stepped forward in his contributions to Santacon, much as he is involved with many participatory culture events. Jim looks forward to continuing to participate in FIGMENT as an artist and as founder of Kostume Kult, which provides kid-friendly costume giveaways each year at FIGMENT NYC. However, recognizing a conflict of interest, Jim has resigned from FIGMENT's Board of Directors. We thank him for his formative role in FIGMENT's development.
We value that there may be artistic and charitable intentions behind Santacon, and understand that individuals involved with FIGMENT may don a Santa hat for one day a year. However, we will continue to maintain that any conflict of interest between the leadership of the two organizations is unacceptable.
Since its inception, FIGMENT has celebrated and supported creative expression by artists of all kinds, and invited every individual to explore his or her inner artist to create work to share. While we do not accept corporate donations to support our nonprofit mission, we have made it our policy in the past to accept donations from many community groups and events.
This year, FIGMENT has decided to refuse a donation from a community event for the first time in our history in refusing any donation offered to it by Santacon. It has become clear to us that, while Santacon was originally a fundamentally creative and expressive event, it has become something else in recent years. Many residents in the neighborhoods that Santacon has visited have had extremely negative experiences, which have been well documented in local media. As an organization that values community, and that works to build, grow, and nurture local communities through art and creativity in 10 cities, FIGMENT cannot be associated with an event that so many people feel represents a danger to their neighborhoods.
FIGMENT creates free arts events in 10 cities around the world that invite everyone to create and share. We believe that everyone is an artist, that everyone has something to say, and that through creativity we can build strong and diverse communities. FIGMENT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization entirely funded by grants and individual donations. We appreciate your support in creating free arts events and experiences that everyone is welcome to participate in as a creator.
Open Call: Submissions for 2015 Minigolf Course
Join us for a design meeting on Wednesday, December 17th 6:30-7:30pm at CMA, 103 Charlton St., New York, NY 10014.
Photo by Erik McGregor. Attack of King Kristy by Campus Operandi
From Here to There
Welcome to 2015! Over the past seven summers, FIGMENT has created a free, artist-designed minigolf course on Governors Island in New York City. This course, one of a number of summer-long programs created by FIGMENT in addition to its weekend-long FIGMENT NYC event, has received substantial amount of critical acclaim and media attention, and has delighted hundreds of thousands of visitors of all ages.
As FIGMENT's mission is to build community through participatory art, we have found that artist-designed minigolf provides a great template on which artists can envision a creative framework in which others can interact. For the visitor to the island, minigolf provides a basic point of entry to participatory art: it's easy for almost anyone to pick up a golf club, ball, and scorecard and interact with the art!
Photo by Scott Lynch. City Bikes by Gary Dolan
Our theme for the 2015 FIGMENT minigolf course is "From Here to There."
This year's proposals should reflect artists' interpretation of the concept of transportation, whether across state lines or between states of mind. With the vast choices for getting yourself or getting "goods" from one place to another, how where you are now to where you want to be? Our aspiration is to create artist-designed, free to the public, minigolf course on Governors Island (our eighth annual course!) that captures the multitude of transportation options from the past, present and future; highlights the positive and/or negative social, economic, or environmental impact of transportation; or interprets abstract transportation practices such as telepathy or psychotherapy. Designs should interpret this year's theme with as much diversity of perspective as possible. You can interpret the theme literally, metaphorically, or with as much poetic license as you like. Be bold!
A jury will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria: creativity, durability, playability, feasibility, adherence to theme, budget and community involvement. Please be sure not to use any proprietary, copyrighted, or trademarked symbols or characters in your proposal.
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Photo by Anthony Collins. Hoods and Woods by Vanessa Khouri
FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) are excited to announce the finalists for the 2015 City of Dreams Pavilion Design Competition:
The Pulp Pavilion by MegaZoo (Melody Rees and Arthur Azoulai)
Billion Oyster Pavilion by BanG studio (Babak Bryan AIA – principal; Henry Grosman – principal; Suzie Betts – with Sam Janis, Harbor School/Billion Oyster Project)
Tied Together by Hou de Sousa (Nancy Hou & Josh de Sousa)
Organic Growth by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects (Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno, Adriana Cabello Plasencia, Alejandro Espallargas Omedas and Alfonso Aracil Sánchez)
Galassia by Michele Zanella
This year’s finalists incorporate reclaimed and biodegradable materials, educate visitors about harbor restoration, and raise awareness about recycling regulations.
The Pulp Pavilion
by MegaZoo (Melody Rees and Arthur Azoulai)
Made from cast paper pulp, this pavilion is constructed out of recycled material and is biodegradable. The cradle to cradle design is comprised of many cone shaped modules that are tightly packed to form a domed archway. On the exterior, the design celebrates the inherent qualities of the fibrous material. On the interior, color is used to celebrate the modularity of the design and filter light to create dramatic and contrasting effect for individuals who reside within. Each cone is cast from a unique and fibrous mix consisting of recycled paper and grass seeds. Its impact is net zero and it actually contributes to the positive biomass of the earth upon demolition. This temporary structure is a showcase for the potentials of new biodegradable material technologies within the design and construction industry.
Billion Oyster Pavilion
by BanG studio (Babak Bryan AIA – principal; Henry Grosman – principal; Suzie Betts – with Sam Janis, Harbor School/Billion Oyster Project)
Our proposal for the Billion Oyster Pavilion joins two of Governors Island’s most exciting enterprises: Figment’s City of Dreams Pavilion and The New York Harbor School’s Billion Oyster Project. The materials that form the woven canopy (steel rebar, nylon rope, and hose clamps) are specifically used in their harbor restoration work. Additionally, the base of our Pavilion is made up of custom-cast “Reef Balls,” a restoration device that the school will also use as part of their habitat creation effort. By donating the entire pavilion to the Harbor School, its materials will be completely re-used on the island, eliminating the need to further transport.
by Hou de Sousa (Nancy Hou & Josh de Sousa)
Tied Together is a pavilion made out of aluminum pipes and strands of rope braided from 38,000 repurposed plastic bags (the amount NYC wastes every 90 seconds). The project provides a venue for events and performances, while serving as a great picnic area, and functioning as an iconic meeting point for visitors to Governors Island. From afar, Tied Together appears to be a solid sculptural object, but from up close, the overlapping composition of rope and linear gaps produces a moiré effect which visually shifts and alters the surrounding landscape as one moves between the pavilion’s spaces. Currently, less than 1% of New York City’s plastic bags are recycled, even though they account for 22% of all the plastics sent to landfills. The NY Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Act was passed in 2009 and requires medium to large scale retailers to accept plastic bags for recycling. Tied Together aims to raise awareness for this law and thereby increase its impact.
by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects (Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno, Adriana Cabello Plasencia, Alejandro Espallargas Omedas and Alfonso Aracil Sánchez)
The natural structures are adaptive and can grow up and down in response to context and time. The morphology of the hydrangea plan has been particularly useful. Mophead flowers are large dome-shaped flower heads. Through it’s growth, the plant maintains a good balance with the environment, shouldn’t the ‘city of dreams’ do the same? Architecture has to learn to adapt to changing social requirements and ecological dynamics. The philosophy of organic growth: maintaining a flexibility of ideas that is adaptive becomes crucial. This logic also generates a biophilic component, learning from nature helps to take care of human wellbeing naturally, beautifully and intuitively.
by Michele Zanella
Galassia is a free standing, geometrically rigorous yet formally expressive, self-sustaining pavilion. The nature of its shape, deriving from the minimal surface generated between two circular loops, is contemporarily expression of maximum structural efficiency and of refined formal completeness. Paced by the array of a bamboo structure and of a densely spaced set of tensed ropes, the pavilion is simultaneously identifying its structural, formal and functional content. Galassia is the depiction of flawless dynamism and internal movements within the city of the future and is the materialization of the concepts of efficiency, sustainability and aesthetic qualities combined together. A pavilion as the architectural crystallization of a collective dream: the process of a sustainable urban metamorphosis.
About the Competition
The City of Dreams Pavilion will be a gathering place for people to meet, learn about the arts programs on the island, enjoy a performance or lecture, and experience the interaction of art and the historic context of Governors Island. Our theme for the pavilion, the City of Dreams, points toward the future. If we imagine a future New York City where anything is possible, what would it look like? In our wildest and most optimistic dreams, what is the future of the city? The goal is to create a pavilion that has a net zero impact and that serves as a prototype for a new, truly sustainable, way of thinking about design and construction.
The current state of the world is such that both economic and natural resources are extremely limited. A new way of thinking is necessary to solve the problems that the world faces. Inevitably, the result will be a change in the basic practices that have driven the world to its current state. One place to start to activate and energize these changes is within the architecture and design community, where the movement toward sustainable design has only scratched the surface of what is possible and necessary.
The winner will be selected by a jury of leading architects and other industry professionals in November 2014. The jury meets again later this month to review revised design proposals and a winning design will be announced in December. The pavilion will be installed on the island in June for the 2015 summer season, pending permit approvals.
All renderings (c) the artists