Since its inception, PS1 has brought together, year after year, the best of summer fun with the latest and greatest in art, music and architectural experimentation. While celebrating invention, the summer structures have provided the necessary shade, seating and water requirements - as well as spatially organizing PS1’s courtyard to create various zones of gathering and program. Every intervention has expanded upon the Warm-Up’s essential DNA (going back to Philip Johnson): the celebrated ‘Urban Beach.’
Throughout the twentieth century, ‘the beach’ has embodied popular dreams of pleasure and liberation. From the first labor paid holidays - which led to the beach’s invasions by blue and white striped bathing suits - to the famous slogan of May 1968 ‘Sous les Paves la Plage’, reaching the beach was synonymous with reclaiming a lost paradise.
This summer of 2008, exactly 40 years after ’68, it is time for a new leisure revolution! One that creates a symbol of liberation, knowledge, power and fun for today’s cities. Leaving behind the Urban Beach, our project becomes the ‘Urban Farm’ – a magical plot of rural delights inserted within the city grid that resonates with our generations’ preoccupations and hopes for a better and different future. In our post-industrial age of information, customization and individual expression, the most exciting and promising developments are no longer those of mass production but of local interventions. As cities have finally proven their superiority to their suburban counterparts – in everything from quality of life to environmental impact - they should again become our much needed laboratories of experimentation: opening our minds and senses towards better living with each other and the world.
Channeling the last utopian architectural projects about the City that examined its potential, represented its promises of liberation, and captured its pleasures – from Superstudio’s continuous monument to Koolhaas’s Exodus – Public Farm 1 (PF1) is an architectural and urban manifesto to engage play and reinvent our cities, and our world, once more.