The Architects Collaborative 1945-1995: Tracing Diffuse Architectural Authorship
This exhibition by Gabriel Cira, James Heard and Emma Pfeiffer, with an accompanying digital database display and make accessible significant original documentation, mapping, and historical study of the vast architectural output of The Architects Collaborative (TAC). This body of work shows the normalization of radical precepts of modernism into Massachusetts vernacular, especially in the building types of schools, housing, and healthcare. Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1945 by eight equal partners, TAC was the largest exclusively architectural office in the US by the 1970s. Their internal record lists about 1,500 jobs (1945–83), although only a handful of these are commonly known. This project seeks to trace the mainstreaming of the subtly political modernism that the group so carefully used to both erase as style and embrace as philosophy.
The pinkcomma gallery opened at a time of shifting design sensibilities in Boston. No longer exclusively clad in brick, a few recent institutional buildings in the city indicate an acceptance of fresh and adventurous architecture—reminiscent of the late modernist period when Boston’s new structures were a part of the international vanguard. Yet the work produced in the local establishment is often far from inventive or original. The gallery aims to foster and recognize a more creative and experimental scene that has grown out of one of the world’s most significant capitals of architectural education. For all the city’s stodginess, Boston’s six architecture schools and their instructors have unleashed some of the most provocative figures on the world scene. Why hasn’t this culture permeated the city’s own architectural sense of itself?
It seems clear that such a culture is on the rise, yet continues to need independent venues to foster its growth. pinkcomma showcases Boston’s new architectural underground—in a space that is literally subterranean. We hope to encourage broader popular support for this underground sensibility. At the same time, pinkcomma is a place for the exchange and expansion of ideas within Boston’s larger design scene, not just in terms of architecture, but also in the disciplines of landscape, graphics, urbanism, interiors, and industrial design, among many other fields.
pinkcomma strives to make design more pivotal in the city’s political and cultural discourses. The gallery’s role is often activist in nature, promoting works that may be at times politically unpalatable or financially untenable, unpopular or unacknowledged. The gallery highlights innovative thinkers of diverse interests who call Boston home. Their works offer us a window into the city’s design underground.
Chris Grimley, Curator
Michael Kubo, Co-founder
Mark Pasnik, Co-founder
pinkcomma is a division of OverUnder.