Little Free Libraries / New York Jury

Airan Kang's "Luminous Words," which I saw this weekend @  Bryce Wolkowitzls
Airan Kang’s “Luminous Words,” which I saw this weekend @ Bryce Wolkowitz 

I was tremendously honored to be invited to join the jury for the Architectural League of New York / PEN World Voices Festival‘s Little Free Libraries / New York design competition. Other jurors include the Laurie Anderson, Andy Bernheimer, A.M. Homes, and Peter Mullan.

Which of these is unlike the (illustrious) others? That would be me (or, I).

The commissioned projects will be will be installed on May 4, 2013, as part of the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY festival. The ArchLeague offers more info about the free libraries (which I addressed in a fairly lengthy article about the larger “little library” movement last spring) and the competition:

The Little Free Libraries movement places small-scale book shelters in neighborhoods and is based on the premise of “take a book, leave a book.” Established less than three years ago, Little Free Libraries now populate 5,000 communities worldwide. Initially crafted to resemble miniature one-room schoolhouses mounted on a pole, each library is a unique structure, designed and constructed in a wide range of styles, often utilizing recycled, reclaimed, or salvaged materials… [I, for one, am hoping we’ll see some major typological innovations.]

In keeping with this year’s IDEAS CITY theme of untapped capital, the libraries will facilitate an informal exchange of books in the city’s public spaces, where local residents and visitors may use and contribute to these communal, non-market based resources. Architects and designers interested in creating a library as part of this project are invited to submit their qualifications and describe their interest in the project in response to this RFQ. A jury will select ten teams to each design and fabricate a library, hosted on the property or in the domain of a partnering community organization. Selected design teams will be matched with partner organizations by the PEN World Voices Festival and the Architectural League of New York.

Submissions are due, well, today — so it’s a bit too late to start brainstorming. But our work of adjudication is just beginning, and I’m super-excited to be involved.

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