Archtober 2023: New York’s Annual Festival Returns
Archtober, New York City’s highly anticipated month-long celebration of architecture and design, is back for its thirteenth annual edition. Taking place from October 1st to the 31st, 2023, Archtober will showcase a diverse lineup of events and exhibitions that honor the city’s rich architectural heritage and the creative minds behind it. This year, the festival has introduced a new theme, ‘Bridging Divides,’ which aims to promote inclusivity, innovation, and a deeper understanding of the connections between individuals, communities, and their built environments.
As a media partner of Archtober, designboom has compiled a list of must-see events and exhibitions that offer visitors the opportunity to explore New York City’s iconic streets, meet industry experts, and discover the city’s vibrant creative scene.
Archtober brings together over one hundred partner institutions from around the world to offer a wide range of events, including tours, lectures, educational programs, and professional development opportunities. The festival begins at the Powerhouse Arts events space in Gowanus, Brooklyn, designed by esteemed architects Herzog & de Meuron and PBDW Architects, and concludes at the newly completed Louis Armstrong Center in Queens.
One of the highlights of Archtober is the NYCxDESIGN Design Pavilion, which will take place from October 12th to 22nd. Known for its immersive installations, this year’s pavilion will feature three innovative exhibits that explore themes such as materiality, sustainability, and social justice. Notable installations include Bamboo Cloud at Pier 57 and Public Display at Gansevoort Plaza, which will provide temporary spaces for community engagement and personal reflection. The third exhibit, titled I Was Here, will feature a digital art projection on the World Trade Center Podium, addressing the nation’s history of slavery and the need for reconciliation.
The Architecture & Design Film Festival, now in its 15th year, will also be part of Archtober. This festival offers design enthusiasts the chance to view a curated selection of films that cover a wide range of topics, including modernism, sustainability, and the role of women in architecture. Each screening will be followed by discussions with filmmakers and leaders in the field.
Another exciting exhibition is ‘Staging Future Worlds: The Architectural Visions of László Rajk,’ curated by Andi Soos and Isi Litke. This exhibition showcases the unconventional and poetic architectural creations of Hungarian architect László Rajk, who challenged traditional notions of architecture and pushed the boundaries of the profession. The exhibition explores Rajk’s unique style and his connections to the Russian avant-garde and visionary architecture. It will be on view at the Valerie Goodman Gallery from October 6th to 31st, 2023.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will host the exhibition ‘Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism.’ This exhibition highlights architectural projects from the 1930s to the 1990s that addressed ecological and environmental concerns. It features over 150 works, including models, photos, diagrams, and sketches, as well as newly commissioned audio recordings by contemporary architects discussing climate change. ‘Emerging Ecologies’ offers insights and solutions for the future and will be on view from September 17th, 2023 to January 20th, 2024.
‘T’ Space, a new extension of the Steven Holl-founded ‘T’ Space Archive building, will present an exhibition of architectural drawings by Giuliano Fiorenzoli. Fiorenzoli played a pivotal role in the Radical Architecture movement in Italy during the late 1960s and 70s and co-founded the experimental atelier ZZIGGURRAT. The exhibition will showcase Fiorenzoli’s most remarkable architectural achievements and will run from October 15th to November 19th.
Magazzino Italian Art presents ‘Ettore Spalletti: Parole di colore,’ an exhibition curated by Fondazione Ettore Spalletti and Alberto Salvadori. The exhibition showcases the work of Italian artist Ettore Spalletti, featuring five of his monochromatic wall pieces and a sculpture. The exhibition creates a unique immersive experience in a specially constructed isotropic room and will be on display from September 14th, 2023 to January 8th, 2024.
‘Generation Proxima’ is an exhibition at the Center for Architecture that explores emerging environmental practices in Portuguese architecture. The exhibition showcases the work of seven firms that address environmental challenges while emphasizing community, social engagement, and resource efficiency. It is based on Pedro Gadanho’s book ‘Climax Change! How Architecture Must Transform in the Age of Ecological Emergency’ and will run from October 2nd, 2023 to April 23rd, 2024.
The Indigenous Society of Architecture, Planning, and Design will present a series of lectures and discussions as part of the Alignments in the Indigenous Design Process series. These events will explore how Indigenous people have historically designed structures that harmonize with nature and the cosmos, highlighting Indigenous spatial design methods that incorporate natural and artificial elements.
In addition to these exhibitions and events, the Guggenheim Museum offers a sensory guide for visually impaired individuals to experience the architecture of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed museum. The guide features narration from actors Marilee Talkington, BD Wong,
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