About

Mission

ASAP is an archive of practices. It advocates architecture and its value as part of a broader social, political, and aesthetic discourse through the collection, exhibition, writing and circulation of media.

Objectives

The Archive of Spatial Aesthetics and Praxis (ASAP) aims to be the foremost collection of spatial practice today, collecting and exhibiting architecture as part of a broader social, political, and aesthetic discourse.

2004 is taken as a point of departure, a moment when architecture moves toward an expanded practice to address the spatial environment as the most pressing political issue of our day.

ASAP houses three collections — spatial and artistic objects, virtual media, texts and ephemera. Its objects exist as bastard objects, 1:1’s somewhere between art and architecture. Practitioners of interest range from architects, artists, designers, performers, filmmakers, writers, to engineers and scientists, and choreographers.

The archive will form the basis of a discursive and sometime polemical forum in which things provoke debate and assemble action. The aim is to expand the understanding, agency, and value of architecture as a theoretical, practical, and aesthetic pursuit.

History and Founding

The Archive of Spatial Aesthetics and Praxis (ASAP) was founded in 2010 by Tina di Carlo, former curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. It was inspired by her first project at MoMA in 2002, The Changing of the Avant Garde: Visionary Works from the Howard Gilman Collection. The exhibition and publication featured some of the most visionary works of architecture done on paper – those of Archigram, Archizoom, Peter Cook, Ron Herron, Cedric Price, Superstudio, OMA, Elia and Zoe Zenghelis, Matthias Oswald Ungers, Aldo Rossi, Ettore Sottsass, among others – which was acquired as the Howard Gilman Archive.

The name ASAP is a play on the English acronym “as soon as possible” to evoke a sense of urgency and speed where space collapses in time. The archive is designed as a 10-year project, in which architecture is produced through the accumulation and relation of things in space. The project will conclude in 2019 at which point it may be absorbed as one room among others in another institution.

Programming

The first two years will be dedicated to the initial assembling of a collection, currently housed in London, a publication, and the development of an online platform. Extended programming and a public archival space in NYC will begin in 2012. ASAP’s market-driven imperative lies in forming a hybrid, post-medium institution that invokes collecting as a way increase the value of architecture and spatial praxis as a collectable object with a value akin to that of art. Practitioners wishing to solicit consideration by the archive please contact us for review.