The Sukkah City installation at Union Square last weekend was an ideal example of how to use public space in NYC.


As the brochure educated: “Biblical in origin, the sukkah is an ephemeral, elemental shelter, erected for one week each fall, in which it is customary to share meals, entertain, sleep and rejoice. Ostensibly, the sukkah’s religious function is to commemorate the temporary structures that the Israelites dwelled in during their exodus from Egypt, but it is also about universal ideas of transience and permanence as expressed in architecture.”


The most talented architects and designers reimagined one of the work’s oldest structures. Over 600 entries were submitted from 43 countries—you can see these at the Center for Architecture at 536 LaGuardia Place. The dozen sukkahs arrayed at Union Square were chosen by a distinguished panel of judges, and attracted an impressive crowd of curious onlookers.


My favorite is the Single Thread by Matter Practice (see pictures below), which is constructed by threading a single spool of wire around intersections of a temporary bamboo scaffold. Once the continuous wire is fully unraveled from the spool, the scaffolding is removed, leaving a rigid yet porous enclosure with a roof of dried flowers.






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