Co-curated by Kyle May, 5×5 : Participatory Provocations is an exhibit of 25 architectural models by 25 young American architects, divided by five contemporary issues addressed by five firms each. The exhibition toured through six galleries, including Art Omi in New York, RISD Architecture School, and The Center for Architecture.

Architecture as a profession struggles to simultaneously engage with the public and be provocative within the confines of its own field. Either arguments and proposals get “dumbed down,” or they are simply inaccessible or irrelevant.

This exhibit argues for participatory criticism, presented by identifying a precise series of significant issues, and passing them to creative minds to develop clear stances, to then inform a physical expression or provocation that is made available to the public.

The avant-garde in architecture has for decades captured its imaginations via two-dimensional representations, but this exhibit asks architects to be just as provocative in three dimensions. The selected topics intend to provoke, but are grounded in issues we face today: a growing income gap, immigration, globalization, technology’s impact on our lives, surveillance, and power.

Client: Self-Initiated

Program: Cultural, Exhibit

Status: Built

Size: 800-1,500 SF

Location: Urbana-Champaign, IL; Cleveland, OH; Providence, RI; Ghent, NY; New York, NY

Curators: Kyle May, Julia van den Hout, Kevin Erickson
Participants: Abruzzo Bodziak Architects, Andrew Kovacs / Archive of Affinities, Anthony Titus Studio, Brillhart Architecture, Carl Lostritto, Club Club, David Emmons, Formlessfinder, Future Expansion, Gelpi Projects, IS-Office, JKurtz, KNE Studio, Kyle May, Architect , Michael Abrahamson, Norden Design, Platform for Architecture + Research, Path + Price Studio, Peterson Rich Office, Sean Gaffney / Christina Nguyen, Snarkitecture, SOFTlab, Studio Cadena, Ultramoderne

Images: KM,A, Robert Prochaska