Young Architects Program

Pole Dance by Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu

June 25, 2010—September 25, 2010

The architectural firm Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu (SO - IL), winner of the eleventh annual MoMA/MoMA PS1Young Architects Program, present a new urban landscape for the MoMA PS1 courtyard, Pole Dance, on view June 25 through September. Celebrating its eleventh year, the program continues its commitment to offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects. After a successful first decade, the Young Architects Program now focuses on designs which address sustainability, recycling, and reuse. Pole Dance, will offer an interactive environment for the 2010 Warm Up music series beginning July 3.

Conceived as a participatory environment that reframes the conceptual relationship between humankind and structure, Pole Dance is an interconnected system of poles and bungees whose equilibrium is open to human action and environmental factors. Throughout the courtyard, groups of 25-foot-tall poles on 12 x 12-foot grids connected by bungee cords whose elasticity cause the poles to gently sway, create a steady ripple throughout the courtyard space. Each grid contains a number of playful activators, such as hammocks, pulls, misters, and rain collecting plants. An open net covering the entire scope of the grid system provides shelter and stabilize the movement of the poles, preventing them from exceeding a predetermined maximum pivot. A generous series of multi-colored balls move above the net offering mutable shade and the appearance of a communal game. Dropping down at two points, the net surrounds a pool and a sandpit.

Pole Dance includes an audio device that measures the motion of eight of the fiberglass poles and converts it to sound, which is audible in the courtyard and streamed live in 3d on In the passive state, movement is generated by wind moving the poles or net structure. As the audience begins to interact with elements of the structure by pushing, pulling, or shaking the poles or moving the balls or the net, modulated tones are generated, which have been specifically composed to blend with the sonic environment and bring harmony to the soundscape in and around MoMA PS1.



For the Young Architects Program 2010 selection process, MoMA and MoMA PS1 invited outside experts in the field of architecture, including architects, curators, scholars, and magazine editors, to nominate the finalists from a pool of approximately 25 candidates that included both recent graduates and established architects experimenting with new styles or techniques. After reviewing the candidates, five finalists were selected to present proposals to a panel composed of Glenn D. Lowry, MoMA Director; Kathy Halbreich, MoMA Associate Director; Peter Reed, MoMA Senior Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs; Barry Bergdoll, MoMA Philip Johnson Chief Curator, Department of Architecture and Design; and Andres Lepik, MoMA Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large; and Antoine Guerrero, MoMA PS1 Director of Operations and Exhibitions.


This year marks the thirteenth summer that MoMA PS1 has hosted a combined architectural installation and music series in its outdoor galleries, though it is only the eleventh year of the Young Architects Program, which began in 2000. The inaugural project was an architecturally based installation in 1998 by an Austrian artist collective, Gelatin. In 1999, Philip Johnson's DJ Pavilion celebrated the historic affiliation of MoMA PS1 and MoMA. The previous winners of the Young Architects Program are SHoP/Sharples Holden Pasquarelli (2000), ROY (2001), William E. Massie (2002), Tom Wiscombe / EMERGENT (2003), nARCHITECTS (2004), Xefirotarch (2005), OBRA (2006), Ball-Nogues (2007), WORKac (2008), and MOS (2009).


Combining a host of experience from the worlds of museum architecture, academia, corporate architecture, and the hospitality industry, SO - IL is a small studio with a global reach. Founders Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu set up their Brooklyn-based studio in 2007 to be a creative catalyst, in­volved at all scales and all stages of the architectural process to develop singular, beautiful and functional solutions. SO - IL's recent projects include a house for designer Ivan Chermayeff in upstate New York; a shell-shaped wedding chapel in Nanjing, China; a museum for contemporary art near The Hague; as well as a proj­ect space for Kukje Gallery in Seoul. They are one of five finalists in an international competition for architects under the age of 35 to design student housing in Athens, Greece.


The 2010 Young Architects Program is sponsored by Bloomberg

Additional funding is provided by Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, Jeffrey and Michèle Klein, Agnes Gund, and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.