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MoMA PS1’s courtyard will be transformed by a robotically-woven luminescent canopy

Jenny Sabin Studio’s Lumen is coming to the Queens institution this summer

Come summer, the courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Long Island City might be one of the most refreshing places to be in the city. The institution recently announced the winner of its annual Young Architects Program competition, which seeks out quirky, futuristic pieces; this year, the winner is Ithaca’s Jenny Sabin Studio, whose Lumen will transform the museum’s courtyard. (h/t Dezeen)

The piece will knit together—quite literally—a few different interesting features. According to Jenny Sabin Studio, Lumen is intended as “a socially and environmentally responsive structure that adapts to the densities of bodies, heat, and sunlight.”

In order to do that, the studio will weave together high-tech fabrics (solar-active and photo-luminescent yarn) using robotic technology, creating large cone-like shapes suspended from a larger canopy. The piece, then, will look different by day and by night, when it offers a sort of phosphorescent glow—hence, the “lumen” of the title.

Even better: those pieces will be equipped with misting systems that will respond to the movements of people nearby, so visitors to the exhibit will occasionally be sprayed with cool water—a necessity during the beastly hot days of summer.

Jenny Sabin Studio

The idea, according to the studio, is to “produce a multisensory environment that is full of delight, inspiring collective levity, play, and interaction as the structure and materials transform throughout the day and night.” Cool!

The Young Architects Program exhibit opens at the end of June, coinciding with the launch of MoMA PS1’s annual Warm Up dance parties—something to look forward to during these final cold weeks of winter.


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