Cultural Capital

Our project identifies the accumulation and distribution of cultural capital as an alternative form of social mobility that is not bound solely by economic means. The proposal is a projection into the future of the city, speculating on the growth, the creative industries, and envisioning a city comprised of connective spaces, fostering a collaborative attitude towards production in the city.  Perhaps overly idealistic, we were interested in socialist Utopian communities, systems of barter and trade, and concepts of shared ownership. These interests led us to develop a set of tactics and design strategies that fundamentally contradicted the self organizing nature of the so called “creative class”.  We believe this self organizing nature can be self defeating. We desire the ability to create self empowerment.  Developing a city that provides its inhabitants access to means of production, and further the means of self fulfillment.

Our proposal is an urban campus for the creative industries and is sited in Brooklyn between the Morgan and Montrose L train stops. The main interest is the form and growth of the city in relation to its creative class as a gentrification machine. Our primary site is a border zone between residential and industrial business and is along the L train.  The L train corridor being a vital artery in the city.  The train is a major part of the phenomenon of the artist, maker, designer, thinker, cultural driver, as the city’s growth machine.  The train becomes a provisional orientation device directing a collision between a group of people, who possess embodied cultural capital, and the industrial landscape of Bushwick, that contains vacant warehouses and empty lots as a form of objectified cultural capital.

We looked to our disciple for strategies that we could turn into tactics for creating a city fabric that could reconnect. Confronting contradictions, the inevitable, and our own ambivalence, we questioned the role of architecture and planning as well as the importance of form.

We hope to provoke a response to the issues that face the “creative class” as they are continually out priced further from the center of the city.

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