Receiving a total of 151 projects from 32 countries, the New York CityVision Competition proposed to imagine a future for New York, if the manipulation of the urban context and its architectural objects, joined with its inhabitants, was influenced by space and time. A jury composed by Joshua Prince-Ramus (REX NY), Eva Franch i Gilabert (Storefront for Art and Architecture), Roland Snooks (Kokkugia), Shohei Shigematsu (OMA NY), Alessandro Orsini (Architensions), and Mitchell Joachim (Terreform One) chose two winners, a FARM prize winner, and attributed eight honorable mentions.
The brief proposed two possible themes as departure points: From Past to Future, whereby participants where challenged to "imagine the city of New York from manipulation and time deviation of a critical phase of its past and rewrite a new and correct future with consequent changes to the natural ecosystem, social and architectural history of the city", and From Future to Past, which proposed to "imagine New York City starting with the already compromised future — accepting the failure of our futuristic aspirations — and describe your idea of a city of tomorrow that will have to come to terms with the relentless advance of technology and the parallel regression of the social life of its inhabitants, but that has a great opportunity to really change the system by replacing all that is outsourcing into insourcing."
Below are featured the winning projects and some of the submitted entries. All entries can be viewed in the New York Cityvision website.
First Prize: Eirini Giannakopoulou and Stefano Carera (SCEG), Vigone, Italy with Hilario Isola and Matteo Norzi (Isola and Norzi), Kent Av, Brooklyn
"Future, present and past have always been fundamental concepts in every phase of developing which the history of New York City has faced. Things here change very fast, although others never change. With such spirit in mind, we have interpreted the competition as an homage to Romanian-born American artist, architect, cartoonist and illustrator, Saul Steinberg (1914–1999). Among many masterpieces, he is the author of famous The New Yorker magazine cover (March 29, 1976) "View of the World from 9th Avenue". Such drawing has come to represent Manhattan's telescoped interpretation of the country beyond the Hudson River. Showing the supposedly limited mental geography of Manhattanites, it has become iconic as a representation of one of the most influential and perhaps the last ideal city ever existed."
"Nowadays trying to imagine the future would give anyone reason to worry about, for the catastrophic impact of civilization on the environment and the global climate. Although the social and urban studies have recently realized that high density cities are much more preferable than spread ones, which till few decades ago were still misleadingly named as garden-cities. In such sense, NYC is considered by far more sustainable than the suburbs with their independent houses alleys and drives, which dramatically constitute the most popular way of living all over the US. If the understanding of the term of carbon foot-print finally frames the problem clearly and pragmatically, still very much has to be done in order to make the urban systems independent both energetically and as per the refuse disposal. The preliminary remarks of the project are a near future connoted by a difficult handling, with waste that piles up out of all proportion; the citizenry of Manhattan calls for abandoning the not in my back yard attitude and faces up its own responsibility taking the decision of managing the garbage disposal inland, inside the limits of the island. A radical cultural and technological transformation, able to revolutionize the energy balance, develops a different skyline and opens to a new life style as well."
Second Prize: Human Heritage Site. Enrico Pieraccioli, Prato, Italy and Claudio Granato, Noci, Italy
"Every form of progress, every technological invention, linked to the development society, brings with it a double image: Into success is also included anxiety and danger of his possible and probable failure. Study and design the means to avoid such a disaster becomes almost important as the study progress."
"If it's true that the destructive effects never cease to act, and that they are repeated in the history of every cycle, it is true that what is civilization at a given time, will be the primitive state in the next moment. Creation and Destruction, the scene endlessly. New York is an open monument, global urbanism paradigm of the twentieth century, urban assemblage of events and phenomena, so it must be preserved. Crib of the whims of man, of consumerism and entertainment, it cannot be erased and forgotten, but is stored as a chip in our DNA. A document on how we were. Atlas of civilization and of archaeological as Pompeii and Herculaneum were examples of civilization of a people."
FARM Prize: "Institute for Imagining New York", Miles Fujiki, New York
"In the uncertain city, brute economics dictates physical form and experience. This truth is entrenched in the collective imagination to the degree that it becomes nearly impossible to think of a future urbanity not premised on profitability. Any alternative imagination evaporates. But in New York, a shrinking group of city dreamers — artists, writers, historians, lunatics, futurists, architects, urban archeologists, mystics, skateboarders — resists this condition. Feeding on the history of a place, its atmosphere and material state, they produce alternative realities that are gradually woven into New York. These realities are both firmly grounded in the city and constantly drifting above, below, into the past, into the future."
"In reaction to the dismal and exploitative future presented, the city dreamers establish the Institute for Imagining New York. This loose collective seizes the overgrown plot on Lafayette and Great Jones — defined by a high-rise frozen in mid construction, a dilapidated billboard, and contradicting memory of street patterns. The Institute is both a physical and ideological enclave where past future imaginations are condensed and new imaginations of past, present, and future are catalyzed."
"Above all, it is not a reliquary but a reactor core. It arises out of the dire act of re-establishing the seriousness of imagination, which has been relegated to fantasy, childishness, or impracticality. Dreamers, city atmospheres, and artifacts of imaginations—volatile elements—collide within spaces of study, reflection, and production."