New Exhibition Surveys Architecture of Scaffolding

Peter Fattinger, Michael Rieper, and students from the Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Architecture and Design, SELFWARE.surface, 2003, Graz, Austria.

Scaffolding—a new exhibition that debuted yesterday at the Center for Architecture (CFA) in New York—examines applications of the temporary structure and presents its transformative potential as a new form of inhabitation and access. Curated by Greg Barton, the exhibition features an installation designed by OMA New York’s Shohei Shigematsu, which unfolds scaffolding’s prospective uses within urban settings and offers further exhibition space for photographs and drawings. Scaffoldingwill remain on view through January 18, 2018.

Assemble’s Theatre on the Fly was a temporary performance space installed in Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom, 2012. Jim Stephenson/Courtesy Assemble

“Of particular interest to our local New York City audience, scaffolding is a flexible and accessible system hiding in plain sight,” reads the CFA’s exhibition description. “Despite its indispensable link to architecture, scaffolding is too often maligned as a necessary nuisance. The exhibition demonstrates how this simple construction technology lends itself to compelling installations, positioning it as a pragmatic tool for radical architecture and civic engagement.”

Peter Fattinger, Veronika Orso, Michael Rieper, and students from the Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Architecture and Design, add on. 20 höhenmeter, 2005, Vienna, Austria. Courtesy Florian Haydn

Showcasing drawings, photographs, videos, and architectural models, “Scaffolding” is partitioned into two sections, beginning with a brief illustrated history—tracing the material change from wood to steel and aluminum—and continuing with a staging of international case studies as its central component. The exhibit is structured around five themes including theaters, display structures, alternative modes of access, housing prototypes, and participatory self-build schemes, and the featured projects establish alternative ways of using scaffolding to create architectural structures.

 

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