42N 75W: Contemporary Architecture in Rhode Island / Exhibition in development
42N and 75W are the longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates of the Ocean State. This exhibition surveys recent domestic, commercial and civic architecture that has been designed by Rhode Island-based architecture firms including Truthbox Architects, 3Six0, Dual Studio, Jonathan Chambers, Estes Twombley and Ultramoderne. Is there a particular style that these forward-thinking firms are embracing? How are these Rhode Island firms leading a national conversation around adaptive reuse, sustainable building methods and experimental preservation? This survey addresses these questions and provides visitors with a sense of the diversity and quality of architectural design coming out of the Ocean State.
Brutalism, RI / Exhibition in development slated for the Carriage House Gallery at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University in Winter 2018
Brutalism, RI will explore the history and the design of four significant buildings and spaces constructed in Rhode Island in the 1960s-1970s including the Fogarty Building (demolished 2017); Cathedral Square; the campus of the Community College of Rhode Island; and a private home on Congden Street designed in the early 1970s. The exhibition includes original drawings, plans and historic photographs, and incorporates television news footage from the 1960s as well as audio recordings of oral histories Brown has done with people who engaged closely with these places in their hey day -- from the construction workers who physically laid their granite steps, to the architects' children who remember their father's dinner-time reports on design progress, to the office workers who remember typing, smoking, filing and also striking in the premises of these buildings. This exhibition will be the first research-based examination of this period of architecture in Rhode Island and may include a publication.
Sentenced: Architecture and Human Rights / The Carriage House Gallery at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University in Spring 2017
Sentenced was an exhibition of works on paper made by prisoners in the San Francisco area who, at the time, were held in solitary confinement. Some of them were detailed and skilled axonometric view of solitary cells, while others attempted to capture the state of mind of solitary. All of them were profoundly affecting, expressing hopelessness, anger and despair. One wall included architectural plans for an execution chamber at Ely State Prison in Nevada, with "before" and "after" photographs of the project during and after construction. It included a full-scale mock-up of a solitary confinement cell produced by the NGO Black and Pink Boston and audio testimony about the experience of solitary confinement.
The artwork in this exhibition was loaned by Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, a national organization that connects design work to social, political and environmental justice issues. The exhibition was covered by Rhode Island National Public Radio here.
Co-curator, Fogarty Funeral / March 17, 2017
The Fogarty Funeral was a happening organized by Marisa Angell Brown, Caroline Stevens, Janaya Kizzie and Steve Lubar to mark the demise of the Brutalist building, designed by the Providence firm Castelluci, Galli and Planka in 1968 and demolished on March 13, 2017. The curatorial team wrote an obituary for the building in the Providence Journal and organized a public wake featuring memorial statements, a funeral wreath and a group procession to the tunes of "Danny Boy," which ended with beers at the Dean Hotel across the street from the demolition site, where the building lay in state. The event was both playful and serious, and attempted to convey the architectural significance of the Fogarty Building in an engaging way. The event was covered by NBC10, the Providence Journal, the National Trust for Historic Places and other media and was the basis for an Associated Press story on the fate of Brutalist architecture in the US.
Modern House Museums designed by John Portman / Atlanta and Sea Island, Georgia
Brown advised the internationally known Atlanta-based architect John Portman on planning, implementation and programmatic issues related to turning two homes he designed for his family in the 1960s and 1980s into publicly accessible architecture museums in 2015. This project is on hold.
Rhode Tour / Free Mobile Website and App launched in 2010
Rhode Tour is a statewide mobile historical smart phone application that provides location-based tours about significant historical and cultural sites in Rhode Island. Brown advised the founding partners on the application's look, content and user operability and co-produced the tour titled "Early Creatives: Culture, Entrepreneurs, and the Arts on Benefit Street" in 2015. Rhode Tour is a collaboration between the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, the Rhode Island Historical Society and the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University. It is built on the open-source publishing platform Curatescape, which uses the Omeka content management system.
Urban Museum of Modern Architecture: New Haven / City-wide Project, 2002-2004.
Umma: new haven was a 2-year city-wide architecture exhibition featuring New Haven's significant collection of modern buildings by architects Gordon Bunshaft, Louis Kahn, Paul Rudolph, Eero Saarinen and Robert Venturi built between 1953 and 1974. Treating the city itself as a museum, the project provided free informative brochures about each of the seven participating buildings in each lobby. GRO Architects was commissioned to design and fabricate unique 6' info-kiosks to house the brochures -- each referencing design elements of the building in which it was housed -- and Little Spoons, Inc. provided the project’s graphic identity. The project was notable for its synthesis of educative content and innovative design, and was covered by Metropolis, Architectural Record, the Hartford Courant and on the local NBC affiliate's morning news show. See Publications page for more details. Umma: new haven was also the subject of an exhibition at the New Haven Museum co-curated by Marisa Angell Brown/Genie Loci, GRO Architects and Little Spoons, Inc.