Michael’s piece on the 2013 Crisis Fronts studio is featured on the Architectural League’s Urban Omnibus. For the 2012-2013 edition of Crisis Fronts, co-directed with Jason Lee, the studio took on future infrastructures of social collectivism, logistical empires, opportunity gulfs, new ecologies, and speculations about the future of the Bronx.
From the editors:
“As another semester ends and final reviews come to a close, the wealth of creative energy spent in design studios this spring risks becoming confined to student portfolios and never contributing to broader conversations outside the classroom. Our Studio Report series aims to address this intellectual loss by inviting the instructors of design studios with briefs relevant to New York City to share student work here on Urban Omnibus. Michael Chen and Jason Lee, present some of the work from Future Bronx(es), the latest installment of their Crisis Fronts degree project, which probes the mutual influence of public policy and speculative design. For this studio, Chen and Lee, assisted by Justin Snider, encouraged their undergraduate students at the Pratt Institute to think big about the urban prospects of the Bronx. But rather than limiting students to the familiar tropes of designing for underperforming buildings or vacant land in a disinvested and isolated part of the city, the Future Bronx(es) studio takes an optimistic, opportunistic, and urban-scale view of the context at hand, beginning with the collection of new kinds of data that range from density and demographics to food distribution and cultural production.”