What can rest stops, information centers, and observation decks tell visitors about a culture? The School of Constructed Environments at Parsons The New School for Design will explore this question when it presents Detour, a traveling exhibition documenting notable architecture and design along 18 Norwegian National Tourist Routes. The exhibition, which is sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General and presented in collaboration with the Architectural League of New York and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, will be on view December 4 through January 19 at the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons.
Detour features photography and architectural models of key works from Norway's National Tourist Routes Project initiated by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, which encourages designers across the world to propose alternatives to the traditional tourist-route architecture, which tends to value function over aesthetic beauty. The architects and designers make structures that harmonize with the surroundings and reinforce travelers’ appreciation of the great outdoors and unspoiled countryside. A centerpiece of the exhibition is a large viewing chamber that lets visitors peek inside at a film that winds alongNorway's scenicroads and bike paths and explores in detail some of the projects.
The initiative has so far resulted in close to 200 built projects, ranging from stopping points, information centers, picnic areas, rest stops, and observation platforms; including works by architect Peter Zumthor in collaboration with artist Louise Bourgeois, and Snøhetta. The project emphasizes creativity and innovation over cost efficiency, and has served as a way for young architects to launch themselves as independent designers. Two of the earliest participants, Jan Olav Jensen and Børre Skodvin from Jensen & Skodvin Architects, have become internationally recognized names, and their viewing platform at Gudbrandsjuvet was nominated for the 2009 Mies van der Rohe Award for Architecture.
In timing with the opening, there will be a panel discussion featuring participating architects on December 4 at 6 pm at The New School's Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, 55 West 13th Street, followed by an opening reception in the galleries, which is free and open to the public. The event will feature Karl Otto Ellefsen, an architect and principal of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, who chaired the Quality Council for Concept and National Considerations, which oversaw the development of the National Tourist Routes Project. Also participating are the Norwegian architects Marthe Melbye of PUSHAK and Ellen Hellsten of Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter. For more information, visit www.newschool.edu/events.
On Tuesday, January 19, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will host Detour: Art, Architecture, Cities and Landscapes, a symposium featuring an afternoon panel at 4:30 pm with architects and artists from Europe and the United States moderated by David van der Leer, Assistant Curator for Architecture and Design as well as two keynote lectures in the evening. Book signing and reception follows. Tickets for the symposium are $10; $7 for Guggenheim and Architectural League Members; and FREE to students and university staff with ID and RSVP. For information, call the Guggenheim Box Office, 212-423-3587, Mon-Fri, 1-5 pm. At noon, symposium participants can join a curatorial and artist walkthrough of the Detour exhibition. RSVP at email@example.com or 212-310-1509.
Through the Architectural League of New York, AIA and New York State continuing education credits are available for both of these events. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exhibition Detour is a collaboration between the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and Norsk Form - The Foundation for Design and Architecture in Norway with generous support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Innovation Norway. Detour has been exhibited in London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Brussels, Bologna, Bratislava, Caen, the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, and the Center for Architecture in Philadelphia.
On View at the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Parsons The New School for Design
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street
December 4, 2009 – January 19, 2010