This Saturday, April 23rd, two of the biggest names in contemporary design and architecture (respectively) present "Open House," a two-part event in the Greater New York City area. The event begins with a symposium at Studio-X New York, moderated by Columbia University's Mark Wasiuta, with presentations by Renny Ramakers (co-founder and director of Droog), Charles Renfro (project lead designer and partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro), Heleen Mees (author on New York service economy), Roo Rogers (co-author of What's Mine Is Yours) and Mary Ellen Carroll (artist).
The afternoon session will take participants further afield to Levittown, where architects and designers have collaborated with residents on "house installations."The concept, in brief:Washing machines sit idle most of the time. Homes offer views that mostly go unnoticed. At the same time, housing foreclosures are on the rise and ready-made jobs are not easy to find. Inspired by the service-oriented mentality of New York, Open house by Droog led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro is a movement in which suburban homeowners supplement their income and develop a new vocation by offering home-made services and facilities to the public.
Open house encourages self-inventiveness, offers ideas, and proposes new models for suburban housing, striking a new balance between the private and public realm. Starting with an economic argument for the struggling middle class, the proposal also addresses the challenges posed by urban sprawl and single-owner consumption. The new residential marketplace not only brings more capital and density to the neighborhood, it also increases social cohesion through service exchange.