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Urban Forest

Installation / Public Art

Located at the intersection of one of the busiest streets of Manhattan, the site of the Urban Forest provides a perfect opportunity for creating and capturing varying altered everyday experience of the participants. By connecting various rhythms of urban movements, Urban Forest extends existing forest and creates a set of simultaneous interactions with the project, with other participants, and the city. Ranging from alteration in one’s daily path through the city to impromptu gatherings organized, the project creates a new landscape through reinterpretation and reinvention of the everyday landscape.

The materials are strategically selected to work with limitations, opportunities, and specific variances of daytime and nighttime environment. The use of reflective mylar, phosphorescent tapes, and light reflective tapes produces distorted reflections of the surroundings during daylight and transforms the site into multi-colored reflections of the glowing city lights at night. The shadows of the mesh-covered canopies and poles become sundials tracing movements of natural elements throughout the day.  The base structure – or root of trees – provide stability and becomes seating elements accommodating various programs.

The project catalogs public exchanges and movements through intimacy of bodily interactions within urban and community context.  Urban Forest is a constant but varied experience, where each participant – or a collective – can perceive and create another world within the familiar everyday landscape. As the fixed nature of an architectural form is subverted and manipulated through flexible response to the changing environment and programs, the project embraces agility of urban life through extended and integrated boundaries of thresholds for fast paced urban path and slow meandering in the oasis.


Location:  First Park, 33 East First Street, New York, NY

Site Area: ~3,000 SF

Project Type: Temporary outdoor installation

Installation Period: Summer 2013

Project Budget: USD 2,500

Project Partners: SUPERFRONT, First Street Green (FSG), New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

In collaboration with Ji Young Kim