Rapid urbanization is stratifying the world’s largest metropolises spatially and socioeconomically, creating segregated clusters of wealth and poverty. An exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York that opens on Nov. 22 addresses the impact of that expansion in a selection of megacities—Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, in Nigeria, Mumbai, in India, New York, and Rio de Janeiro—with the goal of better understanding architects' roles there.
“Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities” runs through May 10, 2015, and is the third in a series of MoMA exhibitions highlighting issues in contemporary architecture. Previous exhibitions in 2009 and 2011 addressed the need for resilient infrastructure and the fallout of the mortgage-financing crisis, respectively. For this exhibition, six teams of interdisciplinary architecture and urbanism professionals spent 14 months each evaluating urbanization’s impact in a specific city.
The design teams involved include: MAP Office, Hong Kong; Network Architecture Lab at Columbia University, New York; Superpool, Istanbul; Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée, Paris; Nlé, Lagos, Nigeria, and Amsterdam; Zoohaus/Inteligencia Colectiva, Madrid; URBZ, Mumbai; Ensamble Studio, Brookline, Mass.; MIT-POPlab, Madrid and Cambridge, Mass.; Situ Studio, New York; Cohabitation Strategies, Rotterdam, Netherlands; RUA Arquitetos, Rio de Janeiro; ETH Zurich MAS Urban Design program, Zurich.
Through their study, the teams examined how the use of fragmented, grassroots urban interventions—known as tactical urbanism—could impact the nature of public spaces, housing, transportation, spatial justice, and more. “The exhibition features design scenarios for future developments that simultaneously raise awareness of the prevailing inequalities in specific urban areas and confront the changing role of architects vis-à-vis increasing urbanization,” said Pedro Gadanho, curator of MoMA’s department of architecture and design.
The exhibit includes photos, interviews with the project team members, essays, and a book, as well as a user-generated Tumblr page to allow real-time public submissions. “Uneven Growth” was designed in collaboration with the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna. It runs from Nov. 22 to May 10, 2015.