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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Ping Pong Table, Lounges and Trees Enliven Long Island City Museum Courtyard Thanks To NJIT Ass't Prof's Award-Winning Design

"A number of NJIT grads and students were on the project team, and I am very proud that the skills they have gained at the school contributed to our award-winning scheme. -- Assistant Professor Georgeen Theodore

The quality of life will rise one notch higher next summer for Long Island City residents, business owners and anyone else lucky enough to live near  the Museum of Modern Art’s PS1.  The creative design talents of NJIT Assistant Professor Georgeen Theodore and her Brooklyn-based architectural firm Interboro Partners, will be lavished on a temporary courtyard installation open to the community.

The firm’s design, “Holding Pattern,” to be installed around June 1, promises to add not only a community resource—a luxurious outdoor living space replete with sofas and ping pong tables-- but will also exhibit commendable civic behavior next fall when the elements will not be thrown out on the street, but recycled back into the community.

“We wanted to take advantage of the temporary nature of the project to create some long-term benefits for the neighborhood,” said Theodore.

Theodore won the chance to do such good work after wowing judges in one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for young architects. Known as MoMA/PS1’s 2011 Young Architects Program it is sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, offering emerging architectural talent the chance to design and present innovative projects.

Annual winners are challenged to develop a highly innovative design for a temporary, outdoor installation at the Long Island City museum to provide shade, seating, and water. The program is in its 12th year.

“Simple materials that transform a space to create a kind of public living room and rec room are trademarks of this young Brooklyn firm,” said Barry Bergdoll, MoMA Philip Johnson Chief Curator.

“I am honored to have won this significant award,” said Theodore. “I and my partners Tobias Armborst and Daniel D’Oca are thrilled to have the opportunity to realize a project that creates both a dynamic space and a dialogue between the museum and the surrounding neighborhood. A number of NJIT grads and students were on the project team, and I am very proud that the skills they have gained at the school contributed to our award-winning scheme.”

ATTENTION EDITORS /PRODUCERS:  To interview Theodore and the students, call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.

Interboro’s design caught the attention of the judges by meeting budget and program requirements as well as setting up a series of neighborhood meetings to incorporate the needs of the community into the space.  The meetings eventually led to a design that Theodore said included an eclectic mix of benches, mirrors, ping-pong tables, and floodlights.

The design then went one step further to include all these elements under an elegant and taut canopy of rope strung from MoMA PS1’s wall to the parapet across the courtyard.

Theodore teaches undergraduate and graduate design studios at NJIT and is the director of the infrastructure planning program.  Her focus is large-scale design issues and methodologies.  Recent design studios have emphasized the visualization of the actors and decision-making processes that shape the city as a means to understanding the limits and potential of design. Her research centers on contemporary urban dynamics, including the development of new analytical and representational techniques for urban designers. Theodore received a bachelor of architecture from Rice University and a master of architecture in urban design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. 

Interboro is a recipient of the New Practices Award from the AIA New York Chapter and the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices and Young Architects Awards.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.