Steven Lauritano – POP goes the ARTPORT

This studio begins by staging a confrontation between one of the oldest architectural tactics – the “pop-up” – and an emerging typology that is, in almost every sense, its opposite: the “artport.” The term “artport” refers to a permanent, private, high-ground, high-security, hyper-environmentally-controlled art storage facility, a species of building increasingly preferred by collectors as a safe space for accumulating acquisitions and conducting transactions in near-total secrecy. Such facilities cater to individuals and high-profile art institutions alike, blurring the (largely illusory) lines between art commerce and “cultural experience,” which many museums have traditionally worked to maintain. Even as institutions like the National Gallery of Art, MoMA, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art house an ever-increasing percentage of their permanent collections in offsite storage facilities, they are broadcasting a newfound enthusiasm for more ephemeral works, especially performance art, with a spree of commissions and the construction of dedicated performance spaces. This reinvigorated interest in performance is often characterized by curators as a strategy for breaking down the barriers between art and life, reframing works in the existing collection, or engaging new publics. More cynical critics might see the boom as a deliberate attempt to offset (or even obfuscate) the role of art (and art institutions) in increasing inequality by allowing for the uninhibited accumulation of wealth (through the currency of art) by a small group of super-rich individuals. In response to these shifting art-world dynamics, students in the studio developed design proposals for new hybrid institutions that might accommodate spaces of performance alongside art storage. Ultimately, they were asked to consider the implications of their proposals for art’s potential publics.

Student Work

Christian Rios & Isaac Li – “Terminal M”

The workspace had several major shifts throughout its history. These shifts are influenced by the change of office standard, which is shaped by the breakthrough of society, economy and science, such as the construction of railway, the invention of air-conditioning and elevators. In the past several decades, workspace is dominated by Rem Koolhaas named ‘typical plan’. This project is challenging the absolute openness of the ‘typical plan’ as it causes the lack of sense of privacy, triggering social anxiety, questioning the working efficiency. “Atypical Plan” is created to replace the generic, gridded, stripped-down empty office interior, with a grid of circled reconfigurable working units.

Bilal Fawaz, Tyler Jensen – ‘Pop Goes the Art Port’

This proposal will witness the rebirth of an already culturally authentic neighbor
hood, in an effort to ‘revive’ and ‘revamp’ the Chinatown people have come to love for years . Our proposal will allow for the intermingling of new a nd old generation locals through the intended creation of space to accommodate all types of art, popup, and performance.

The space will be a learning ground that invites all members of the city to be a part of, and will act as a natural assimilation to the greater city of Chicago.

Blog at
%d bloggers like this: