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Plywood salvaged from home windows boarded up in the course of the Covid-19 lockdown was used to create a sequence of artworks throughout New York City on this mission by Worthless Studios.


The thought for the Plywood Protection Project, which is shortlisted within the set up design class of Dezeen Awards 2021, got here to Worthless Studios founder Neil Hamamoto whereas he was driving across the abandoned streets of Lower Manhattan in the summertime of 2020.

Worthless Studios commissioned native artists to craft installations utilizing salvaged plywood from boarded-up storefronts

At the time, a statewide mandate prohibiting residents from leaving their properties prompted many companies to board up their shopfronts to guard them from vandalism or looting.

Many retailers, eating places and luxurious manufacturers additionally took steps to guard their property in the course of the Black Lives Matter protests, which centred round racial injustice and coincided with the lifting of the lockdown.

Plywood Protection Project placed the installations in public places
The installations have been positioned throughout New York City

During the peak of the protests throughout New York City, the worth of plywood skyrocketed as provides grew to become depleted. According to Worthless Studios, at one level a plywood board measuring 4 by eight ft price over $90.

The non-profit organisation noticed a chance to ask native makers to remodel discarded plywood boards into public artwork initiatives throughout all 5 boroughs of New York City.

An obelisk like sculpture was placed in front of the Brooklyn Bridge
The thought for the mission got here from Worthless Studios founder driving across the abandoned streets of Lower Manhattan in the course of the summer time of 2020

“Part of the mission of Worthless Studios is to promote public art,” defined Hamamoto in a movie concerning the mission, “so how do we create a programme to make a public art project that could be responsive to the time everyone was living through.”

Flyers have been mounted to plywood boards masking home windows all through Lower Manhattan to let companies know that they may donate the undesirable materials to the mission.

The studio then organised an open name for sculpture initiatives which acquired over 200 purposes. A jury chosen 5 artists to provide sculptures that may be put in in key websites in parks and public areas.

“It was important to me that the sculptures were installed across all five boroughs,” Hamamoto added, “because the lived experience through that time was shared throughout all five boroughs.”

“I don’t think anyone’s experience was any different if they were in Manhattan or the Bronx or Queens, everyone saw businesses go under, everyone saw protests.”

A sculpture part of the Plywood Protection Project has a monochromatic colour palette
The sculptures have been put in in common parks and public areas

The artists chosen for the mission have been Once Ha Design Studio, Mark Francis, Michael Zelehoski, Tony DiBernardo, and KaNSiteCurators’ work that includes images by Caroline Mardok.

Each artist acquired studio area, instruments and help with fabrication and set up, in addition to a $2,000 artist stipend and a $500 materials price range to finish the works.

Plywood Protection Project includes a multicoloured conical installation
Each set up was meant to remind individuals of the unprecedented instances in the course of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter motion

The sculptures have been put in in May and remained in place till 1 November 2021. The areas for the installations included McCarren Park in Brooklyn, Queensbridge Park in Queens, and Thomas Paine Park in Manhattan.

“The Plywood Protection Project reminds people of the incredible time that we lived through in the pandemic and the very powerful Black Lives Matter protests,” Hamamoto claimed.

“It’s an example of a great way to upcycle material and lastly I think it’s trying to pave a new way to exemplify what public art should stand for.”

Detail image of an installation that forms part of the Plywood Protection Project in New York City
The installations have been on show till 1 November 2021

Also shortlisted within the set up design class of Dezeen Awards 2021 is Asif Khan’s carbon-fibre latticed gates on the 2020 Dubai Expo.

Chila Kumari Singh Burman can be shortlisted for her neon overhaul of Tate Britain’s portico as a part of the museum’s annual winter fee.


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