Architects Jennifer Newsom, AIA, and Tom Carruthers won this year's Young Architects Program, New York's Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 announced today. The duo's installation proposal, "Hide & Seek," features nine "chords" of movable mirrors designed to alter perspectives within the MoMA PS1 courtyard.
The Young Architects Program is an annual commission, officially established in 2000, for a courtyard shelter during the summer months, when the Queens museum hosts its Warm Up concert series.
"Each of the horizontal structures contains two inward-facing, gimbaled mirrors suspended from a frame," a MoMA press release explains. "The mirrors move in the wind or with human touch, permitting dislocating views and unique spatial relationships across the space that foster unexpected interactions. As the vanishing points disappear into the depths of the mirrors, the illusion of space expands beyond the physical boundaries of the Museum and bends into new forms, creating visual connections within the courtyard and onto the streets outside."
This year's designers, Newsom and Carruthers, are partners in Minneapolis-based practice Dream the Combine, which they established in 2013. The practice has used mirrors before in their work, such as in "Longing," a 2015 installation on an old pedestrian bridge in Minneapolis.
"The fact that they [the mirrors] move will give you some really interesting juxtapositions," Newsom says about the "Hide & Seek" proposal. "I guess it will remain to be seen how confusing it is."
The annual Young Architects Program brief also calls for a water element. Like last summer's installation, "Lumen" by Ithaca, N.Y.–based Jenny Sabin Studio, this year's "Hide & Seek" will incorporate a misting system in the canopy. "The mist kind of introduces a visual static," Newsom says. "During the nighttime, that mist kind of becomes of a carrier of light."
Dream the Combine, who worked with with ARUP structural engineer Clayton Binkley on the proposal, was one of five finalists for this year's commission, announced in November. The other four finalists were: Brooklyn-based LeCavalier R+D; Los Angeles–based FreelandBuck; Oficinaa, based in Ingolstadt, Germany, and Cambridge, Mass.; BairBalliet, based in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Dream the Combine has not yet produced a building-scale project, but the two architects seem content at working in the installation realm for now. "Working at the scale of the body, which is kind of intimate, is exactly where I want to be," Carruthers says.