Ian Volner | February 21, 2012
The Young Architects Program, the Museum of Modern Art's annual homage to fresh talent, is entering its 13th year in 2012, and this time the mantle has settled on up-and-coming office HollwichKushner (HWKN). As in years past, the firm will erect its winning proposal for an outdoor installation in the front forecourt of P.S.1, MoMA's contemporary cousin in Long Island City, Queens.
HWKN's concept, titled "Wendy," calls for a large steel frame supporting a jutting, angular canopy, around and under which visitors can sit on a raised dais. The canopy's nylon fabric is sprayed with what's being described as a "nano-particle spray" from a substance called titania, which actually captures and holds carbon monoxide and other emissions from the surrounding air. According to MoMA, over the course of the summer-long installation, Wendy's air-cleansing magic will amount to some 260 cars being removed directly from the streets of Queens.
The win for HWKN is the latest coup for a firm that has already made waves for its innovative design-world social media site, Architizer. Barry Bergdoll, who heads up the museum's Department of Architecture & Design, had this to say about their winning submission: "HollwichKushner's design is at once based in emerging science of materials related to environmental cleansing [and] also on a zany quest for a space that is simply good fun."