Eva Franch appointed Storefront's new director

Immediately after the official announcement was released that Joseph Grima was stepping down as the acting director of the seminal downtown New York gallery Storefront for Art and Architecture this past January 2010 and move on to Domus Magazine as editorial director at Domus, an extremely contested international search began for its new director.

Today it has been made public that Spanish architect Eva Franch (1978) will be taking over the triangular-shaped space that has courageously been advocating innovation and progressive thinking in art and architecture to a global audience since 1982. She follows the legacy of an international group of influential and creative practitioners that have successfully raised the profile of the small Soho location through their directorships: founding director Kyong Park (1982–1998), co-director Shirin Neshat (1988– 1998), Sarah Herda (1998–2006) and Joseph Grima (2007–2010).

As she stated today in an interview with Domus, she enters Storefront in a time when “conditions have changed and practitioners have moved from constructions sites to spaces of imagination and planning” – a phenomenon that underscores the importance of “reestablishing relationships between architecture, art and other disciplines to construct innovative platforms of communication.” Franch describes Storefront for Art and Architecture as “an institution of the edge and in the edge—not only ideologically, but also in terms of temporality and physical location.” “Storefront has the unique condition of being in the fringe between an institutional place for culture and the street itself, and therefore has the ability to reach out in both ends. This ability to operate in an institutional and informal manner simultaneously gives Storefront the great advantage and possibility of operating in much more audacious manner than most institutions.” Although she cannot yet fully disclose the details on her future programming, she mentioned it would still operate through a core programming of exhibitions around which an ambitious events series will be structured. As there is still programming scheduled from Grima’s tenure, Franch will soon join the Storefront team to ensure a smooth transition to her programs by the end of this year.

In regards to what Storefront’s audience can expect in the coming years, Franch states that she would like to build on the gallery’s tradition of being “unpredictable and fresh”. Interested in methodologies rather than destinations, she sees Storefront “as a space of and for presentation; as such, it will provide different paths of explorations and confluence, by bringing together the cultural, social, political and environmental moments that float within the discipline of architecture”; it will bring together “philosophers, scientists, politicians, dancers, cooks, filmmakers, builders, writers, etc.—as they are all fundamental points of reference in terms of experimentaion,” according to Franch. Without forgetting the importance of laughter: “it’s important to have a place that gives importance to humour, that occasionally breaks through the seriousness of the disciplines we are engaged in”. José Esparza

Eva Franch is an architect, researcher and founder of OOAA (Office Of Architectural Affairs). Franch has studied at TU Delft, at ETS Arquitectura Barcelona where she received her Master in Architecture with Honors in 2003 and at Princeton University with a “La Caixa” grant where she received the Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Prize and her M.Arch II degree in 2007. After graduation she received the Peter Reyner Banham Fellowship at the University at Buffalo where she taught for a year. In 2008 she was awarded the Wortham Fellwoship at Rice University where she has been teaching for two years as the Master Thesis studio director.

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