Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem, and Modern Housing – MANHATTAN, NEW YORK

Date: 2017
Status: Completed
Category: Cultural
Size: 4,000 s.f.
Team: Dominic Leong, Gabriel Burkett
Collaborators: Project Projects

Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem, and Modern Housing, designed in collaboration with Project Projects, presents interwoven narratives that address a question that preoccupied architects and planners throughout the mid-twentieth century: How to live together? The exhibition tracks Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City, and its manifestations in subsequent work, alongside the early development of public housing in Harlem. Juxtaposition allows a reading of these two distinct histories through their underlying circumstances: issues of property rights, urban development, and America under the New Deal.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a 12′ × 12′ model of Broadacre City, which is both emphasized and disrupted by intersecting walls in a monumental ‘X’ formation. Project-specific materials related to both Wright and Harlem alternate in chronological order around the gallery. The organization prompts visitors to repeatedly return to the model as a point of reference, each time framing a slightly different understanding. Engaging questions of inequality, identity, and governance, the exhibition is a timely look at an ongoing history.

Living in America was curated by The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), and is co-presented by The Buell Center, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery and The Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, in correlation with Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, on view at The Museum of Modern Art.