Brooklyn-based design collective Harrison Atelier (HAt) is creating an innovative pavilion network—a canopy and dome made of 1,000 cedar members and 200 colored banners inscribed with crowd-sourced text—sited at the edge of the forest bounding Architecture OMI’s rolling landscape. Launching the summer season at the OMI International Arts Center, the pavilion, which the firm describes as “a theater that disperses into the woods,” will open June 14 with Species Niches, music and dance performance by HAt’s past collaborators: the choreographer Silas Riener, with fellow Merce Cunningham Dance Company alumni Rashaun Mitchell and Cori Kresge, and the composer, musician and instrument creator Loren Dempster.
Underlying all of Harrison Atelier’s work to date is the belief that identity and environment are intertwined with technology, a networked idea that leads to the firm’s interest in tangling audiences, performers, and things. For example, in addition to the dome theater and canopy, interior surfaces designed from data harvested during the performance and built during Phase II will create spaces not only for other participants in OMI’s year-round artist residency program but also for Hudson Valley songbirds.
Harrison Atelier was founded in 2009 by Seth Harrison, a writer, designer and biotechnologist, and Ariane Lourie Harrison, an architect and educator at the Yale School of Architecture. Species Niches represents two “firsts” for Harrison Atelier: the firm’s first outdoor design-and-performance work and its first commissioned pavilion. Past Harrison Atelier performance-installations include Anchises, at Pavilion Dance in Bournemouth, UK, Arnolfini Theater in Bristol, UK, and Abrons Arts Center in NYC, in 2010; Pharmacophore, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in NYC in 2011; andVeal, at The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn in 2013. Find out more here