As part of WHSAD’s ongoing partnership with The Park Avenue Armory, our Juniors are offered yearly offsite residencies that provide an inter-curricular experience in art and design. These residencies challenge our students to study the design and structure of the historic Park Avenue Armory through the lens of our junior Architectural Preservation class. In addition, the teaching artists who lead these residencies focus their instruction on the application of WHSAD’s academic classes (English, Math, Social Studies and Science) to the specific unit of study chosen for the residency.
The residency this year is inspired by the current design work of Herzog & de Meuron at the Armory. Each of the 5 junior classes were assigned one of the Armory’s historic company rooms prior to their visit to the Armory and each class was further divided into small groups of 4-5 members. Each company room is known for specific interests that include horse back riding, interior design and athleticism. These interests can be found in motifs used in decorative items in the company’s room at the Armory.
Each group was then “commissioned” to design a specific metal item for the historic room (lamp, transom, window covering, umbrella stand) . The groups were given information about the specific “identity/personality” of the company who inhabited the company room (ie: Company I was known for theatrics, Company F for its equestrian ability, Company E for their athletics), and the design of the metal piece is expected to reflect this unique “personality” of the company.
Students made their first visit to the Armory as part of this residency on Friday 4/5. The groups were responsible for creating a floor plan of the company room, creating a list of any design features (reoccurring motifs, lists of materials in the room, notes about any damage) and gathering photographic/sketched details of the room. Representatives of each class were sent to collect data for their teams, using an i-pad to take pictures and videos. The students synthesized their collected data in preparation of the next step of this project. The groups then put their information together into a presentation that they “rehearsed” the day before (a teaching artist visited WHSAD on 4/4 to provide some warm up activities for this presentation), to share with their individual classes on Monday.
In all, teaching artists will work with WHSAD’s juniors for a combined eight sessions in preparation for the May 14th culminating event at the Armory. The process of this residency will be on display at this culminating event.
The following video was produced by WHSAD’s Junior class as a culminating project for their 2013 residency.