Letters to the Mayor
April 30 - May 24, 2014
Opening: April 29, 7pm
As a civic figure, the architect has the privilege and responsibility to articulate and translate the collective aspirations of society, and specifically of those not able to sit at the decision-making tables.
Throughout history, architects have engaged with this responsibility and the structures of economic, political and cultural power in different ways and with varying degrees of success. With the rise of globalization and the homogenization of the contemporary city, the role of the architect in the political arena has often been relegated to answering questions that others have asked. While designing the next economically driven cultural-iconic-touristic object, an increasing amount of both architects and with them, politicians, have forgotten the ethics that should be associated with architectural practice and the potential of design in the construction of public life.
Letters to the Mayor presents fifty letters written by international architects to the political leaders of more than 20 cities around the world. Each letter provides a space of reflection for the architect to present ideas and methodologies and express some of the concerns and desires that might contribute to action within political spheres.
Letters to the Mayor also presents the eighteen finalists of the Competition of Competitions, a project launched in 2013 that invited interdisciplinary teams of architects, artists, economists, philosophers, writers, and citizens at large to formulate their visions of the future of architecture and cities in the form of a competition brief. With the intention to provoke long-standing conventions of the architecture competition, the first edition of the Competition of Competitions drew more than 100 entries, which were reviewed by a jury of professionals and visionaries including Amale Andraos (Architect, Work AC), Paola Antonelli (Architecture Curator, MoMA), and Michael Sorkin (Architect and architecture critic).
Letters to the Mayor is thus a compilation of briefs, facts, desires and dreams for the construction of our cities foundations and horizons. All competition briefs and letters will be sent to each respective City Mayor after being presented at the Storefront gallery.
The winners of the Competition of Competitions will be announced at the public opening of the exhibition on April 29 at 7pm.
Ellie Abrons, Emily Abruzzo, Nora Akawi, Azra Akšamija, Zahra Ali Baba, Suad Amiry, Arielle Assouline-Lichten, Ana Dana Beros, Browyn Breitner, Alessandra Cianchetta, Odile Decq, Sonja Duempelmann, Keller Easterling, Pia Ednie-Brown, Frida Escobedo, Daniela Fabricius, Yvonne Farrell, Daisy Froud, Rosalie Genevro, Cristina Goberna, Selva Gürdoğan, Greta Hansen, Roisin Heneghan, Joyce Hwang, Catherine Ingraham, Catherine Johnson, Julia King, María Langarita, Alexandra Lange, Ana María León Crespo, Ariane Lourie Harrison, Jing Liu, Yeoryia Manolopoulou, Mpho Matsipa, Mitch McEwen, Shelley McNamara, Meredith Miller, Elizabeth O'Donnell, Marina Otero, Mariana Pestana, Rocío Pina, Anna Puigjaner, Danielle Rago, Suchi Reddy, Dagmar Richter, Florencia Rodríguez, Rebecca Rudolph, Saskia Sassen, Deborah Schneiderman and Scott Lizama, Annabelle Selldorf, Maria Smith, Michael Sorkin, Esther Sperber, Martha Thorne, Nathalie de Vries, Marion Weiss, Sarah Whiting, Mabel Wilson, Kim Yao, Marisa Yiu, Alejandro Zaera Polo, Mimi Zeiger, Zoka Zola, and more.