Young Architects Program

COSMO by Andres Jaque / Office for Political Innovation

June 23, 2015—August 31, 2015

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 announce Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation as the winner of the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) in New York. Now in its 16th edition, the Young Architects Program at MoMA and MoMA PS1 has been committed to offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects, challenging each year’s winners to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. Andrés Jaque, drawn from among five finalists, will design a temporary urban landscape for the 2015 Warm Up summer music series in MoMA PS1’s outdoor courtyard.

The winning project, COSMO opens at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City in late June. This year’s unique construction, COSMO, will be a moveable artifact, made out of customized irrigation components, to make visible and enjoyable the so-far hidden urbanism of pipes we live by. An assemblage of ecosystems, based on advanced environmental design, COSMO is engineered to filter and purify 3,000 gallons of water, eliminating suspended particles and nitrates, balancing the PH, and increasing the level of dissolved oxygen. It takes four days for the 3,000 gallons of water to become purified, then the cycle continues with the same body of water, becoming more purified with every cycle.

Andrés Jaque addresses the statistic put forth by the United Nations, estimating that by 2025 two thirds of the global population will live in countries that lack sufficient water. COSMO is designed as both an offline and an online prototype. Its purpose is to trigger awareness, and to be easily reproduced all around the world, giving people access to drinking water, and to a dialogue about it. But above all, COSMO will be a party-artifact moving in whatever direction the party happens to take it.

As a result of Andrés Jaque’s complex and advanced biochemical design, the stretched-out plastic mesh at the core of the construction will glow automatically whenever its water has been purified. In the stone courtyard of MoMA PS1, the party will literally light up every time the environment is protected providing a dynamic backdrop for the Warm Up summer music series. It will gather people together in an environment as pleasant and climatically comfortable as a garden as visually textured as a mirrored disco ball.

“This year’s proposal takes one of the Young Architects Program’s essential requirements–providing a water feature for leisure and fun–and highlights water itself as a scarce resource,” said Pedro Gadanho, Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. “Relying on off-the-shelf components from agro-industrial origin, an exuberant mobile architecture celebrates water-purification processes and turns their intricate visualization into an unusual backdrop for the Warm Up sessions.”

Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large adds “Last year Hy-Fi, a nearly zero carbon footprint construction by The Living, raised awareness of ecological and climate change. This year COSMO continues to do so, addressing the issue of increasingly scarce water supplies worldwide in a successful and innovative way.”

The other finalists for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program were brillhart architecture (Jacob Brillhart), Erin Besler, The Bittertang Farm (Michael Loverich) and Studio Benjamin Dillenburger (Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer). An exhibition of the five finalists' proposed projects will be on view at MoMA over the summer, organized by Pedro Gadanho, Curator, with Leah Barreras, Department Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA.


MoMA and MoMA PS1 have partnered with the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome, Italy, with CONSTRUCTO in Santiago, Chile, and with Istanbul Modern in Istanbul, Turkey (on a biennial cycle) and with MMCA in Seoul, Korea to create international editions of the Young Architects Program.

The project for the second temporary installation of the YAP Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program was announced on January 22nd. The program is carried out by Istanbul Modern in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) / MoMA PS1 and co-sponsored by Garanti Bank, Polimeks Holding and VitrA. Designed by PATTU (Cem Kozar, Işıl Ünal) the project entitled “ALL THAT IS SOLID” will be installed in early June in Istanbul Modern’s courtyard. It will host special events addressing especially the young audience and can be used throughout the summer of 2015 by museum visitors of all ages.

The 2014 MAXXI YAP winning installation was entitled 8 1/2, by the Roman architectural collective orizzontale. A timber podium and a translucent wall 28 feet tall and made of recycled beer kegs provided both a stage for events and a relaxing space for visitors. Water sprang from the side of the installation along the entrance path to the museum, while comfortable seating islands will be scattered on the west side of the wall. At night, the translucent wall becomes a pixelated light source with which MAXXI can convey messages to its visitors. Established in 2011, YAP MAXXI continues the YAP mission of offering young designers an opportunity to create a space for live summer events in the piazza of the MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rome. YAP MAXXI 2015 will be announced in the coming weeks.

YAP Chile continues YAP’s legacy of providing an active platform to create new opportunities for talented Latin American emerging architects to think, explore, and improve the quality of collective-use spaces for live summer events, thinking on sustainability as a way to respond to a 3 contemporary problem that requires intelligent and creative use of resources. The 2014 winning design, Wicker Forest, by the architectural firm Grupo Talca, is composed of 13-foot-tall (four-meter) bundles of wicker designed to catch particles carried by the wind, to provide shade, and to sway in the breeze. After the exhibition, the wicker will be turned into furniture or used for decoration. Paths through the forest lead to four clearings, and from a tower at the intersection of these paths, a waterfall pours forth every 20 minutes to pummel a huge stone, evoking, as the architects put it, “the endless battle between rocks and water.” The initial jury for YAP Chile 2015 will take place February 26, and the final jury is on May 19.

The 2014 winner of YAP Korea is the installation Shinseon Play, by Moon Ji Bang, a team comprising Choi Jangwon, Park Cheonkang, and Kwon Kyungmin. As the architects explain, the structure was inspired by an ancient Korean myth: “Shinseons are imaginary Taoist hermits . . . [who] live on top of high mountains or above clouds, transcending the hustle and bustle of the human world of joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure.” Cloud-like balloons swayed gently in response to preprogrammed changes in air pressure. A trampoline was placed among the balloons so that visitors could jump up through the “clouds” and into the artificial mist pumped into the air above. Walking on a wooden bridge above the balloons, one would experience a magically transformed world and a wonderful escape from the summer heat. The final jury for YAP Korea 2015 will take place on February 25, 2015.

Andrés Jaque is the founder and principal of the Office for Political Innovation, a New York/Madrid based practice developing architectural projects that bring inclusivity into daily life. In 2014 they received the Silver Lion of the 14 Mostra Internazionale di Architettura, Biennale di Venezia and they are authors of awarded projects such as Plasencia Clergy House (Dionisio Hernández Gil Prize), House in Never Never Land (Mies van der Rohe European Union Award's finalist), TUPPER HOME (X Bienal Española de Arquitectura y Urbanismo), or ESCARAVOX (COAM Award 2013). They have also produced architectural performances and installations meant to interrogate the political frames by which architecture is practiced; including IKEA Disobedients (MoMA Collection, 2011), PHANTOM. Mies as Rendered Society (Mies Barcelona Pavillion, 2012) or Superpowers of Ten (Lisbon Triennale, 2014). Andrés Jaque is Advanced Design Professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and Visiting Professor at Princeton University's School of Architecture.

Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation 

Patrick Craine, Jocelyn Froimovich, Roberto González, Iván López Munuera

Yannan Chen, Ilgaz Kayaalp, Nicolò Lewanski, Jorge López Conde, Senne Meesters, James Quick, Jarča Slamova.

BAC Engineering and Consultancy

Joaquín García Vicente, Anna Melgarejo, Miguel Mesa del Castillo, Tatiana Poggi, in collaboration with 4 FabLab, Proyectos Arquitectónicos, UA. Special Thanks to Ad hoc.

Bollería Industrial. Paula Currás, Ana Olmedo, Eugenio Fernández Sánchez, Enrique Ventosa.

This year marks the 18th summer that MoMA PS1 has hosted an architectural installation/music series in its outdoor galleries, though it is only the 16th year of the Young Architects Program, which began in 2000. The inaugural project was an architecturally based 1998 installation by the 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), MOS (2009), Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (2010), Interboro Partners (2011), HWKN (2012), CODA (2013) and The Living (2014). 

A dedicated YAP International website,, features the selected proposals and designs from XXX, winner of YAP in New York, as well as the winners of YAP MAXXI, YAP Chile, YAP Istanbul, and YAP Korea. The website also includes an archive of past MoMA/MoMA PS1 YAP finalists and winning proposals, interviews with the curators, and installation videos.

For the Young Architects Program 2015 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, Director, MoMA; Kathy Halbreich, Associate Director, MoMA; Peter Reed, Senior Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, MoMA; Barry Bergdoll, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA; Pedro Gadanho, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA; Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large, MoMA; Peter Eleey, Curator, MoMA PS1; Pippo Ciorra, Senior Curator, MAXXI Architettura; Jeannette Plaut, Director, YAP_Constructo; and Marcelo Sarovic, Director, YAP_Constructo; and Levent Calikoglu, Director, Istanbul Modern.

The 2015 Young Architects Program is sponsored by

Additional funding is provided by the Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, Jeffrey and Michèle Klein, and Agnes Gund.