By Zak Stone
Eco-friendly skateboard company Comet strives to minimize waste at its Ithaca, New York factory. But inevitably, there are scraps of wood leftover from the carving process. While they typically use the wood to heat the factory, or make "sweet cutting boards and other products," bro, this summer, the waste will find its sweetest home yet: at modern art outpost MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York, as the main building block of a massive outdoor installation where New Yorkers will spend the summer partying and mingling at concerts and events.
The rather literally named Party Wall was created by CODA, the Ithaca-based studio of architect Caroline O'Donnell, who was selected as this year's winner in the Young Architects Program, an annual challenge to up-and-comers to create a summer-long installation for the museum's courtyard that provides shade, seating, and water. "The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling," according to the museum's announcement. Past winners included a miniature-urban farm and a "trampoline strip club."
On her website, O'Donnell calls the work "a vertical shade that creates space by the shadow that it casts (editor's note: the shadow spells out "wall") ; that acts as a stage-set for a series of micro-performances, and that sheds its skin in order to accommodate those events."
The stages and benches, also made from skateboard scraps, can be set up in different configurations to host anything from a film screening to a wedding. But the benches won't be arranged by just any old art handler. Again, O'Donnell's website: "These benches are placed in their location by a team of 'pool-boys' whose uniforms have been developed in collaboration with American Apparel."
It may be in the thirties in New York City right now, but I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say, here's to a summer of skateboard byproducts, DJs, fountains and, of course, pool boys.
Copyright 2013 by Fast Company. Reprinted with permission.