• Shared Beds, 2019 Ragdale Ring
    David Costanza and Piergianna Mazzocca
    Ragdale, Lake Forest, Summer 2019

SPORTS, Ragdale Ring performance: ROUNDS, 2016, Lake Forest, IL. Courtesy of the artists.

Ragdale presents the seventh international Ragdale Ring competition. This project explore intersections of history, architecture, original performance, and public investigation. The Ragdale Ring competition invites experimental reinterpretations of Howard Van Doren Shaw’s 1912 Ring as a temporary, open-air environment. This annual competition provides a team of ten—including artists, architects, landscape architects, and designers—with the opportunity to devise and construct a 200-seat performance venue within the context of a fully supported design-build residency on the historic Ragdale campus. The 2019 installation, Shared Beds, is composed of three round interactive beds that act as a communal form of architecture. The construction challenges the role of the individual and the collective and how these two engage in coordinated play. The largest disc can serve as the stage, yet the overall configuration allows for multiple uses and audience placement. The installation changes depending on the presence of bodies in the space from a traditional performance space to a playground producing serendipitous encounters. Adding to the enjoyment, the discs rest on a tipping access, which teeters back and forth depending on the movement of the players above.

David Costanza is the director and lead designer of DCS (David Costanza Studio). Through practice and teaching, his research addresses the emerging digital and technical advancements reshaping the discipline. The work aims to establish a dialogue between representation, computational design tools, digital manufacturing, and the innovative use of building materials. Costanza is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a master's of architecture with a concentration in computation and a master’s of science in architecture building technology.

Piergianna Mazzocca graduated as an architect from the University of the Andes in Mérida, Venezuela, after which she cofounded and worked as an architect in Taller de Arquitectura Singular, directing the office from 2011 to 2015. In 2014 she moved to the Netherlands to start her postmasters at The Berlage Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design, Delft University of Technology, from which she graduated cum laude in February 2016. She has practiced architecture in Venezuela, Rotterdam, and Milan. Mazzocca’s current research focuses on architecture’s enduring relationship to health and its associated medical aesthetic paradigms. This ongoing research has materialized in the form of writing, curating, and teaching.

Jeffrey Meeuwsen, Ragdale’s executive director since 2012, is an arts leader, curator, and an award-winning mixed-media artist. Prior to joining Ragdale, he served for ten years as the executive director of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, one of the nation’s largest noncollecting contemporary arts centers. He led the institution in presenting more than 350 curatorial projects as well as arts education programs honored at the White House. Meeuwsen was also the founding executive director of ArtPrize, the world’s most attended arts festival. He holds an MFA in visual arts, a BFA in sculpture and studio furniture, and a BBA in marketing and graphic design.

Advisors include: Zurich Esposito (AIA Chicago), Galo Canizares and Stephanie Sang Delgado (office ca), Ginger Farley (Chicago Dancemakers Forum), Molly Hunker (SPORTS), Phil Rosborough (Rosborough Partners), Allison Newmeyer and Stewart Hicks (Design With Company), Antonio Torres and Michael Loverich (Bittertang), and Anna Arellanes Wirth (flockdna).

The Ragdale Foundation nurtures artists in a retreat setting and makes the arts more accessible to the public. This is accomplished through three core program areas: the artists’ residency program, preservation and interpretation of the historic site, and community outreach programs.