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Installation Walkthrough

Slideshow photographs � Christopher Hall

Vertical Urban Factory features the innovative architectural�design, structural engineering, and processing methods of�significant factory buildings from the turn of the 20th century�to the present. Now, over a century after the first large factories�began to dominate our cities, the exhibition poses the question:�Can factories present sustainable solutions for future self-sufficient�cities?

From evolution to revolution
The shift away from early water-powered mills and workshops�toward 20th-century Machine-Age dynamos and mass�production assembly lines influenced the design and organization�of the factory, as did new construction technologies. Urban�populations swelled to meet the labor demands of factories. In�turn, the metropolitan marketplace drew in new businesses.�In the competition for expensive city land, factories expanded�skyward, either to house vertically integrated production or to�share space in a building with other manufacturers.

Modern symbols
Early 20th-century engineers and architects developed factory�processes and design ideas based on principles of time-motion�studies and used the verticality of multi-storied buildings to�aid processing. Emulating the utilitarian structures of industry,�avant-garde architects including Le Corbusier and Bauhaus�founder Walter Gropius embraced the materials of glass, steel,�and concrete, undecorated walls, and open spatial volumes�to express a new formal vocabulary and applied the "factory�aesthetic" to other Modern building types.

From grime to green
By the 1960s industry had begun to move away from city centers,�first to urban edges and suburbs, then to other shores to compete�in a globalized marketplace. As a result, de-industrialized cities�must find new strategies to maintain manufacturing sectors and�jobs. Vertical Urban Factory asks how --given advanced computer�technologies, material innovations, and the demand for cleaner�and "greener" industries-- architects, engineers, and urban�designers can integrate industry with everyday life, creating�self-sufficient and sustainable cities.


Vertical Urban Factory is guest-curated by Nina Rappaport, architectural�historian and critic and Publications Director, Yale School of Architecture, with designers mgmt. design, Studio Tractor Architects,�and filmmaker Eric Breitbart. The exhibition features photographs, architectural drawings, process diagrams, maps, new architectural models, and films�of Modern and contemporary factories from around the world, as well as�a section on New York. A graphic timeline of industry, technology, and�architecture provides historical context.

This exhibition is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the�Arts and has been made possible with thanks to contributions from:�Autodesk, Duggal Visual Solutions, Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, French�Embassy-Cultural Services, Netherlands Architecture Fund, Swiss�Consulate General in New York, Spanish Consulate General in New York,�Chilewich, Turner Construction, and Velux.

Vertical Urban Factory is supported, in part, by public funds from the New�York City Department of Cultural Affairs and by the New York State Council�on the Arts, a State Agency.