/MoMA makes the impossible decision once again at PS1
HWKN Wendy

MoMA makes the impossible decision once again at PS1

Wow, MoMA/PS1 has done it again. They’ve managed to make an impossible decision. This year, the finalists all had remarkable projects. Each had a theme we haven’t seen before.

The finalists were:

Hollwich Kushner (HWKN), New York; the eventual winner, who produced Wendy, the punk rocker (photo above);

AEDS Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio, Paris and New Orleans, LA; who produced the nightclub cabanas scheme;

IK Studio, Cambridge, MA; the professors, who produced the paper airplane;

UrbanLab, with endrestudio and Method Design, Chicago, IL, who produced the cheese grater; and

Cameron Wu of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; who created Mystery Island!

HKWN clearly know what they are doing. By designing a single spikey mass, they broke from recent installations and wowed the critics. They’ve been doing it for some time now. You all know about Architizer, the social media site for architects, which they created in 2009.

HWKN Wendy PS1 competition entry
HWKN Wendy

This project is big, spits water, and cleans the air of pollutants. If anyone can spray a membrane surface with an air purifier and still have it not be affected by the membrane’s flexibility they can do it. With two gorgeous and one quirky apartment under their belts, they landed BOOM, a monster “lifestyle community” near Palm Springs. If they were able to create an entire town in an undeveloped are of the California desert and make it sustainable, the membrane should be a cinch.

AEDS, or Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio, just has the coolest name. I mean, “Digit-all” is genius. You wish you’d come up with that for yourself, don’t you? The office is clearly focused on pixels, since their website has the tiniest images and text. It’s not even legible. But, they make for a really nice, clean design.

AEDS website page for their J-house
AEDS website page for their J-house
AEDS 2012 PS1 competition entry moments
AEDS: “Moments” daytime









AEDS PS1 Competition Entry Moments
AEDS: Moments daytime party
AEDS PS1 competition entry moments night
AEDS: Moments night time party


The project is a favorite here at Barkitecture. Full of cabana-like boxes, the courtyard has the look of a Standard Hotel in LA. We love the water channel with electric eels running through the entire site. Lights up the night. I can just envision kids playing games, challenging each other to jump over it. What a party there’d have been!

Good thing for Mr. Eloueini that he didn’t win though. He’d need a lot more money to build it than PS1 would have given him.


IK Studio has a youthful theme. They called it Mechanical Garden, but that’s simply reference to Voltron. The site is morphed. Walls are coated and folded into what looks like a single complicated paper airplane. Or is it multiple airplanes? How we would have loved to see this in person, and feel like we are ready to take off on a trip.

IK Studio Mechanical Garden PS1 2012 Competition Entry
IK Studio Mechanical Garden

Ms. Ibanez and Mr. Kim have a portfolio of work related to game theory, high tech, and fashion. They are like kids in front of a computer. Playful, but sometimes hard to communicate with, but their creativity is exercised constantly.


UrbanLab took their inspiration from a visit to New York’s Little Italy. And, who doesn’t like cheese on their pasta? Even my lactose intolerant friends love it.

Urbanlab Virtual Water ps1 competition entry 2012
Urbanlab: mmmmm cheese…

They’ve done something we never thought was possible, combine cheese with the New York tradition of a ticker-tape parade. You could stand in the middle of one of their grater cones and have cheese stream all over you. What an amazing dining experience we could have had!


Cameron Wu created the most avant-garde project of all. In fact, it’s a complete mystery. No one can prove it exists. There are no images, no drawings, nothing available on the web or in print. We were not surprised to hear that a Harvard professor came up with something we had never conceived of, but this floored us. We could not have anticipated something this revolutionary. His vision of nothing has a clam, Buddhist permanence to us. But the real beauty of this proposal is that it could mean anything to anyone.

Cameron Wu Harvard Profile
Hi, Cameron!


All things considered, we liked all of these projects. No doubt that this summer will be another massive success in Queens. However, we wish MoMA/PS1 had given Mr. Wu a chance to manifest his project. PS1 used to be known for taking people out of their comfort zones. MoMA’s money has obviously mellowed that mission.