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Right of Way: Reprogrammable City

New York, NY and Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The 6th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Completed, May 2014
Research, Urban Design, and Exhibition
Nahyun Hwang, David Eugin Moon,
Germain Chan, Jonathan Negron, Youngjin Yi, Ka Leung Yuen, Stephanie Zhao

The project researches both functioning and outdated linear municipal infrastructural zones that organize various logistical and material flows in metropolitan New York - Sewer Line, Steam Line, Freight Line, Portable Water Line, Solid Waste Line, and spaces of Abandoned Subway - and generates conceptual projections for the potential futures of these areas when utilized for the public beyond the notion of the mono-functional or obsolete conduit.

Throughout history, the relationship between the city and its supporting infrastructure has been a charged one. Simultaneously nurturing yet antagonistic, the tendencies of urban-scale linear infrastructures towards the city have been especially complex. At once organizing and participating in the larger network, the infrastructure connects and fragments. A socio-political device built in the language of necessity and economy, the spaces of conveyance and movement have always been ideal apparatuses of governance. Recognizing their underexplored capacities to spatialize a truly civic and transformative infrastructure, the research examines variegated historical and present notions of the Right of Way and their limitations, and projects its possible future as an agent for the new city.
Envisioning New York and its extended territories as a grounds for experimentation, the project provokes an understanding of the “Right of Way” as potently networked sites capable of (re)programming the city, the medium and the goal at once.

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