National Building Museum's 2023 Summer Block Party installation LOOK HERE now open

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National Building Museum's 2023 Summer Block Party installation LOOK HERE now open
Rendering of the Summer Block Party installation Look Here in the National Building Museum’s Great Hall. Courtesy Reddymade and the National Building Museum.

WASHINGTON, DC .- The National Building Museum is thrilled to present its highly anticipated seventh Summer Block Party installation LOOK HERE by artist and architect Suchi Reddy, founder and principal of Reddymade Architecture & Design in New York. The installation opened to the public on Saturday, July 1 and will be on display through Labor Day, Monday, September 4. The Museum is open every Thursday through Monday from 10 am to 4 pm.

Best known for her large-scale projects that connect the emotional quality of human engagement with space, Reddy is the sixth designer to produce the Summer Block Party’s signature installation, and the first BIPOC woman to partner with the Museum on this annual exhibition.

“My mantra is form follows feeling,” Reddy said. “I believe that architecture, environments, and experiences play an essential role in shaping an understanding of ourselves as humans with agency, equity, and empathy.”

Bringing this ethos to LOOK HERE, Reddy has designed an installation of reflective fractals that visitors encounter on an oval ramp that fills the Center Court of the Museum’s Great Hall. Oversized mirrored elements shaped like ‘fortune-tellers’, the folded paper playthings that have engaged kids for generations, hang from above. The reflection of the Museum’s interior, the movement of the elements, and the changing light as the sun passes through space will transform the Great Hall into a contemplative though dynamic space during the day, and a disco at night.

As visitors make their way along the ramp, they will also encounter iconic images of activist gatherings in Washington, D.C. such as the 1963 March on Washington. This underscores the idea that Washington was designed, not only to house a democratic government, but also to be a physical representation of democratic ideals and beliefs. It also furthers Reddy’s philosophy that buildings and landscapes impact how we feel and, in turn, shape our society.

“As visitors experience the images of activism in LOOK HERE, it’s my hope that they will see themselves in the reflective surfaces, as part of these important moments in our history,” said Reddy.

At the peak of the ramp, visitors will encounter a round platform with padded seating where they can recline below a series of reflective elements, this time in the form of another familiar toy, the kaleidoscope. Yet, in lieu of colored beads and sequins, these
9-foot-long kaleidoscopes focus on and reflect the stunning architectural elements of the building including its eight massive Corinthian columns.

“Summer Block Party is back, and Suchi Reddy’s design is intriguing, peaceful, and playful,” said Aileen Fuchs, President and Executive Director of the National Building Museum. “By transforming our Great Hall into an abstract ‘Hall of Mirrors,’ we hope our visitors will come to appreciate the Museum’s unique architectural details and D.C.’s important activist history through an entirely new lens. We know our visitors are eagerly awaiting this hugely popular annual installation and we can’t wait to welcome them in to experience LOOK HERE!” she added.

The National Building Museum inspires curiosity about the world we design and build. We believe that understanding the impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, construction, planning, and design is important for everyone. Through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events, we welcome visitors of all ages to experience stories about the built world and its power to shape our lives, our communities, and our futures.

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