“5x5 Participatory Provocations” Exhibition

The Center for Architecture

poster for “5x5 Participatory Provocations” Exhibition
[Image: 5x5 Participatory Provocations at OMI International Arts Center. © Robert Prochaska.]

This event has ended.

The Center for Architecture is proud to announce 5x5 Participatory Provocations, an exhibition featuring models by 25 young architecture firms. Curated by Kevin Erickson, Julia van den Hout, and Kyle May, the exhibition argues for participatory criticism and the engagement of architecture in several significant issues we face today: from a growing income gap, immigration, and globalization, to technology’s impact on our lives, surveillance, and power.

Architecture as a profession struggles to simultaneously engage with the public and be provocative within the confines of its own field. Either arguments and proposals get “dumbed down” or they simply aren’t accessible or relevant. The avant-garde in architecture has for decades captured the imagination via two-dimensional representations; this exhibition asks architects to be just as provocative in three dimensions.

In 5x5 Participatory Provocations, 25 young architects engage a series of popular issues, taking clear stances and producing physical expressions or provocations to communicate with a larger public. Each team responds to one of five prompts — contemplating the future of drone deliveries, the consequences of the construction of extreme luxury high-rises as financial investments, luxury tourism on the moon, the fictional development of NSA community branches, and the potential construction of an anti-immigration wall on the border between the United States and Mexico. The selected topics intend to provoke, but are grounded in issues we face today. Architecture has a seat at each discussion.

5x5 Participatory Provocations first opened at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in February 2016, and has since been on view at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the OMI International Arts Center in Ghent, NY.


Abruzzo Bodziak Architects (New York, NY)
Andrew Kovacs / Archive of Affinities (Los Angeles, CA)
Anthony Titus Studio (New York, NY)
Brillhart Architecture (Miami, FL)
Carl Lostritto (Providence, RI)
Club Club (Chicago, IL and New York, NY)
David Emmons (Urbana, IL)
Formlessfinder (New York, NY)
Future Expansion (New York, NY)
GELPI Projects (Miami, FL)
is-office (Los Angeles, CA and Milwaukee, WI)
JKURTZ (Cleveland, OH)
KNE studio (New York, NY)
Kyle May, Architect (New York, NY)
Michael Abrahamson (Ann Arbor, MI)
Norden (Urbana, IL)
Platform for Architecture + Research (Los Angeles, CA)
Path + Price Studio (San Francisco, CA)
P.R.O. (New York, NY)
Sean Gaffney / Christina Nguyen (New York, NY)
Snarkitecture (New York, NY)
SOFTlab (New York, NY)
Studio Cadena (New York, NY)
Ultramoderne (Providence, RI)

For a full list of bios and information on all participants, please visit www.5x5exhibit.com


Kevin Erickson, Principal, KNE studio; Associate Professor, School of Architecture at the University of Illinois
Kevin Erickson is a designer in New York City (KNE studio) and an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois. He is on the Program Leadership Council at the Van Alen Institute, was a Visiting Professor at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, and an Artist-in-Residence at the Geoffrey Bawa Lunuganga Trust in Sri Lanka.

Julia van den Hout, Founder, Original Copy; Editor, CLOG
Julia van den Hout is director of Original Copy, which specializes in editorial, curatorial, and research projects within architecture. She is also a cofounder and editor of CLOG, a publication that aims to slow the rapid pace of discourse and provide a platform for the discussion of currently pressing and relevant subjects. From 2008 to 2014, she was the director of press and marketing at Steven Holl Architects.

Kyle May, Principal, Kyle May, Architect; Editor-in-Chief, CLOG
Kyle May is a registered architect, and founder and Principal at Kyle May, Architect, PC, a design studio in Brooklyn, NY. Kyle has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and NYC College of Technology, and is a frequent visiting critic at institutions around the country. He also co-founded CLOG in 2011, where he is the Editor-in-Chief. CLOG published fourteen issues on current architectural topics before transitioning to general topics.


5x5 Curators’ Talk
Thursday, July 27, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Speakers include: Kevin Erickson, Principal, KNE studio; Associate Professor, School of Architecture at the University of Illinois; Julia van den Hout, Founder, Original Copy; Editor, CLOG; Kyle May, Principal, Kyle May, Architect; Editor-in-Chief, CLOG



from July 11, 2017 to October 31, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-07-11 from 18:00 to 20:00

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