RISD Team Delivers

RISD Team Delivers

Assistant Professor Brett Schneider and a team of students transform Brooklyn’s Navy Yard into an elegant backdrop for the Beaux Arts Ball.

When the Architectural League asked Assistant Professor of Architecture Brett Schneider to temporarily transform Brooklyn’s industrial Navy Yard into an elegant backdrop for its annual Beaux Arts Ball in September, he found inspiration in the theme of this year’s event: alchemy.

“We wanted to create a piece that would both reference the space’s maritime heritage and suggest that transformation can spring from unlikely circumstances,” says Schneider.

Collaborating with Lizzie Hodgesan architect at the engineering firm Guy Nordenson and Associates in NYC, where he works—Schneider recruited a team of RISD Architecture students to assist in designing and fabricating a transformative installation in the tight, six-week timeframe available.

“We wanted to create a piece that would both reference the space’s maritime heritage and suggest that transformation can spring from unlikely circumstances.”assistant professor brett schneider

Enter Andrea Kelly MArch 18, Farinaz Moslemi MArch 18, Emily Svenningsen BArch 18, Gian Villarruel MArch 18 and recent grad Rahul Ghera MArch 17, who worked together to turn Hodges and Schneider’s collective vision into UNPACKING, a site-specific installation that stretched throughout the interior of the building.

Built of canvas, burlap and a calibrated rigging system reminiscent of ship’s rigging, the piece was anchored to an exposed steel structure inside the building. “The curtain twists, unfolds and sails along the 500-foot hall, creating soft rooms,” as Schneider puts it, adding that it magically reinvented the space for the festive ball on September 22.

Simone Solondz

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