• Folly 2016: Sticks
    Architectural League of New York
    Socrates Sculpture Park
    Jul 09, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016
    Socrates Sculpture Park

Hou de Sousa, digital rendering of Folly 2016: Sticks, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY. Courtesy of the architects.

Through this annual competition, residency, and exhibition, Socrates Sculpture Park and the Architectural League of New York explore the intersections and divergences of architecture and sculpture through the framework of an architectural folly. The Folly program offers one architect, designer, or team the opportunity to realize their architectural vision in the public realm. The program has grown from a pilot to a highly anticipated annual competition to conceive, design, build, and exhibit original architecture on the East River waterfront. Selected from an international competition, the Folly 2016 winner is the New York City-based firm Hou de Sousa, with their inventive proposal Sticks. Modeled to fit and complement existing site conditions, Sticks is a simple assembly of standard dimensional lumber interconnected to form a structural frame for educational and community use, as well as for providing art and material storage and display space. Finally, its porous façade reflects the park’s spirit of accessibility and dedication to transparency of process. In past years, the Folly program has investigated the intersection between sculpture and architecture through the conceptual framework of “follies”—temporary structures that intentionally served no utilitarian purpose. Marking the program’s fifth and the park’s thirtieth anniversaries, Folly 2016 marks a departure from previous years’ competitions by asking entrants to design a functional structure to enhance the park’s public programs.

Hou de Sousa is an award-winning New York-based architecture and design studio founded by Josh de Sousa and Nancy Hou. The office has completed a range of work, including private residences, restaurants, public spaces, and art installations. Their primary objective is to provide innovative design solutions which are culturally progressive and environmentally responsible.

John Hatfield is the executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park. Previous to Socrates, he worked for seventeen years at the internationally acclaimed New Museum of Contemporary Art. There, he served in the capacity of deputy director from 2008, while holding variousother positions from 1992 to 2002, and 2004 to 2011. As deputy director, Hatfield contributed to the development and execution of strategic planning in all areas of the museum. In addition to his tenure there, Hatfield served as assistant vice-president for Memorial, Cultural, and Civic Programs at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, where he worked on the 9/11 memorial design competition, selection processes, and cultural planning. Additionally, he has held positions at the World Financial Center’s Arts and Events Program, consulted on public art projects and architecture, worked for modern and contemporary art galleries, served as a visiting critic at Yale School of Architecture, and participated on Percent for Art panels.

Rosalie Genevro is the executive director of the Architectural League of New York. For over twenty years, she has pursued its mission—to nurture excellence and engagement in architecture, design, and urbanism—through innovation in live events, exhibitions, and publications. Genevro has conceived and developed projects that have mobilized the expertise of the League's international network of architects and designers towards applied projects in the public interest, including Vacant Lots, New Schools for New York, the Productive Park, Envisioning East New York, and Arverne: Housing on the Edge; initiated and directed major traveling exhibitions including Renzo Piano Building Workshop: Selected Projects and Ten Shades of Green and Urban Life: Housing in the Contemporary City; and originated the online projects Worldview Cities and Urban Omnibus. Earlier in her career, Genevro was research director of Advisory Services for Better Housing, and published research on the early years of the NYC Housing Authority.

Anne Rieselbach has been program director of the Architectural League since 1986. Rieselbach organizes many of the League's lectures and symposia, and has curated exhibitions of contemporary and historic architecture. For the past thirty years she has directed the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers and Emerging Voices series. The League Prize, a nationwide competition, lecture series, exhibition—and for the past thirteen years, catalogue—spotlights work by talented young architects ten years or less out of school. Emerging Voices, chosen through an invited competition, brings outstanding mid-career architects to New York to present their work.

Jess Wilcox joined Socrates as the exhibition director in January of 2016. From 2011-2015 she held the position as programs coordinator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she organized public programs and worked on the public artworks including Between the Door and the Street, a performance initiated by Suzanne Lacy; and Butterfly for Brooklyn, a pyrotechnic performance by Judy Chicago. She also cocurated Agitprop!, an exhibition of historical and contemporary art that changed over the course of nine months, at the Brooklyn Museum. She has curated projects and worked on various exhibitions at a variety of art spaces including Abrons Art Center; the International Studio and Curatorial Program; Performa; SculptureCenter; and Storm King Art Center, among others. She holds a BA from Barnard College and an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2016, Socrates Sculpture Park is the only site in the New York City specifically dedicated to providing artists with opportunities to create and exhibit large-scale sculpture and multimedia installations in a unique outdoor environment that encourages strong interaction between artists, artworks, and the public. The park's existence is based on the belief that reclamation, revitalization, and creative expression are essential to the survival, humanity, and improvement of our urban environment.