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Civic Bailout | Crisis Fronts

March 1, 2010

Crisis Fronts is the Degree Project studio and seminar run by Michael Chen and Jason Lee, with Gil Akos and Ronnie Parsons at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture. It is also an ongoing inquiry into contemporary global crises that suggest new demands and agendas for architecture, and the potential afforded by parametric and generative digital design tools to engage them. The Civic Bailout is one of the projects worked by Joanna Cheung and Bradley Rothenberg.

As read on the design statements:

“Civic Bailout intends to research, develop, and implement durable forms of interface between citizens and the institutions that govern them. The current banking crisis, as a context, identifies a series of inconsistencies within the sharing of information between the institution and the citizen. This can be seen as a civic crisis, whereas we define civic as the transfer, as well as feedback of knowledge between organizations of citizens and institutional organizations. Research into current forms of civic event, space, and interface show a disconnection between the traditional civic space’s within the city, and the more ephemeral space produced by the civic event. We propose a civic scaffold, latent with interface, which, initially is able to better respond to the fluctuating dynamics of the civic.”

In order to promote communication between the city and its citizens and between citizens and citizens, the proposed project is a deployable civic scaffold that answers to NYC’s and its citizen’s desires and concerns. With the capabilities to infiltrate into vacancies caused by the financial crisis, it resuscitates the dying infrastructure and injects new civic programs for the citizens.

The project produces a cognitive infrastructure that is able to interact with the citizens at a local scale and the city at a global scale, thereby bridging the two scalar differences and stimulating a revolutionary civic reactivity and allowing the citizens to be heard. It obtains an open source of communication that empowers the citizens to take part of their city’s future, as described by Cheung and Rothenberg.


More info about all the Crisis Fronts projects, here.

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