Imagine a continuum that extends from a painting of a puppy riding a unicycle* (pure aesthetics) all the way to the Boston City Hall (brutalist functionality). Common Boston sits smack dab in the middle of this continuum, half art, half function, all creative.
The Common Boston Festival (June 17-27, 2010) is an all-out, multi-armed (and -legged, in the case of the walking tours) celebration organized by the Boston Society of Architects that exemplifies how good design benefits Boston communities.
To me, this festival brings up the same the argument we keep implicitly making on ArtSake: our region has 1. Great brains and 2. Magic potion-esque creative spectacularity. Like the artists we often feature here, the state’s top minds in architecture and design compliment their finely-honed skill sandwiches with just the right mustard of creative innovation.
The Common Boston Festival, now in its fourth year, includes 10 days of lectures, art exhibitions, and walking and building tours. And every single one of these design- and architecture-lovin’ events is free as a wild cockatoo. Talk about neighborly!
Of particular interest to artists: you can submit photographs to the Common Boston Neighborhood Photography Project until June 1. The theme is “Building Communities, Behind the Scenes” (showcasing the often invisible process behind the building of Boston’s physical landscape). Winning entries will be displayed in an online gallery or – and this is super neat – on the large exterior LED media screen on the Carpenters Center (which faces I-93).
- An open-invite design party (dParty) for everyone interested in design and Boston’s neighborhoods. Attendees get in free when they wear monochrome outfits (examples, as depicted by co-organizer Katie Flynn, above).
- Common Build (co-sponsored by LostinBoston.org) is a 72 hour competition to design/build creative wayfinding on an active pedestrian site, to orient and connect people within the neighborhood. Janet Echelman (Crafts & Sculpture/Installation Fellow ’09), the only artist to ever win simultaneous MCC Artist Fellowships in different categories, is on the jury!
- Among the walking tours is one exploring the TUTS concept – that is, the Tremont Underground Theatre Space, the proposed multi-use arts space in an abandoned T tunnel. It won the SHIFTboston Ideas Competition!
More information about the festival, including a full schedule of events, here.
* (By the way, if anyone owns/has created a picture of a puppy riding a unicycle, I will trade you a creatively mustarded sandwich for it.)
Images: Common Boston logo; dParty, as illustrated by Katie Flynn, co-organizer; bus shelter ad for the Tremont Underground Theater Space, proposed by Sapir Ng and Andrzej Zarzycki.