MoMA Gets Social

East Coast, International
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quinta Monroy Housing Project, Iquique, Chile (2003-2005), by Elemental. (Photo: Tadeuz Jalocha)

AN has a first look at MoMA’s upcoming architecture exhibition, Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures for Social Engagement, which will include eleven projects from four continents. The show examines how architects working on small budgets can “bring a positive impact to social conditions,” according to curator Andres Lepik. All the included projects are exemplary for their level of community engagement, which often includes developing the skills of local people. For Lepik, this level of community engagement sets these projects apart from what he calls “charity architecture” or “parachute architecture.” While the American architects are fairly familiar, among them Michael Maltzan, the Rural Studio, and the Estudio Teddy Cruz, many of the international examples will be new to the MoMA audience.

Lepik was also quick to stress that the projects are also beautifully designed, keeping it in line with the Modern’s history. “Many of these architects are tired of architectural utopias. They’re not interested in politics particularly, rather they are interested in addressing specific problems,” he said. Even with a very low budget, you can achieve a very high aesthetic standard.” Small Scale, Big Change opens on October 3, 2010.

METI-Handmade School, Rudrapur, Bangladesh (2004-2006), by Anna Heringer. (Photo: Kurt Horbst)

Housing for the Fishermen of Tyre, Tyre, Lebanon (1998-2008) by Hashim Sarkis A.L.U.D. (Photo: Hashim Sarkis A.L.U.D.)

Rendering for Manguinhos Complex, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2006-present) by Jorge Mario Jauregui.

Transformation of Bois-le-Pretre Tower, Paris, France (2006-present) by Frederic Druot, Anne Lacaton, Jean Philippe Vassal.

Inner-City Arts, Los Angeles, California (1993-2008) by Michael Maltzan Architecture. (Photo: Iwan Baan)

Red Location Museum of Struggle, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, (1998-2005) by Noero Wolff Architects. (Photo: Iwan Baan)

Concept diagram for Casa Familiar by Estudio Teddy Cruz.

$20K House VIII, Newbern, Alabama (2009) by the Rural Studio, Auburn University. (Photo: Timothy Hursley)

Metro Cable, Caracas, Venezuela (2007-2010) by Urban Think Tank. (Photo: Iwan Baan)

Primary School, Gando, Burkina Faso (1999-2001) by Diebedo Francis Kere. (Photo: Simeon Duchoud/Aga Khan Trust for Culture)

9 Responses to “MoMA Gets Social”

  1. G sarin says:


    can someone dynamite the project in the first pic? Iquique, Chile

  2. INawe says:

    can someone dynamite the douche G sarin for being a tool.

    how about you post a meaningful comment with some actual critiquing?

  3. chablinos says:

    I concur with INawe. People shouldn’t make snappy, snarky comments without knowing anything about the project’s content, context and impact. I look forward to this show opening so I can look deeper into these projects, and judge them on their merits. If you just want to blast single images based on only your own aesthetic taste, have fun…then go make “form” in a culture bubble of your choosing. The rest of us have architecture to make and think about.

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  6. mshp2014 says:

    More information about Quinta Monroy (Iquique, Chile) by Alejandro Aravena. Perhaps actually READING about a project would lead to a more insightful critique G sarin.

  7. mike escobar says:

    estudio teddy cruz is a fraud!!! he lives in la jolla california, only travels to latin america on his self interested workshops!! and his projects only matrialize in the wonderful world of photoshop!!!

  8. G sarin says:

    a picture is worth a thousand words….i think…..

  9. anonymous says:

    Caracas Urban Think Tank did not design nor did they execute the Metro Cable in San Antonio. (which by the way is not a remote barrio as they state, but rather one of the most centric in the city) And several other projects they claim to author such as the Chacao Vertical Gymnasium were designed by other architects. HUGE FRAUDS!

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