Through no fault of its own, the MDesS concentration in Art, Design and the Public Domain remains among the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s best-kept secrets. Despite its merely two years of existence and modest size, the program has already built itself into a sort of genius loci for Gund Hall: nary a week passes without some ADPD machination taking—and frequently jogging—the pulse of the school.
It may thus come as a surprise that the program’s main dilemma passes through its not having a room in which to ground its operations. Though a provisional space has been granted to its members on 40 Kirkland Street, ADPD is mature enough to want to settle down. And for good reason! If history has taught us anything, its that the revolution starts at home (because the lab was conceived in the kitchen).
So it is was that, aided and abetted by the not-too-invisible hand of MetaLab, ADPD students Dan Borelli (‘12), Jutta Friedrichs (‘12), Lizzie MacWillie (‘12) and Sara Hendren (‘13) decided to spearhead a transitional space known as “The 40K Studio.”
If an artist must choose his constraints, then this quartet is doing as much by expanding their own. As of last week, they have been hosting a series of thematic “propositions,” propped to serve as trampolines for the hands-on engagement of projects that are stoked and interwoven; incorporated, rather than abandoned. Two editions of the event have already taken place, with the the first orbiting around food and this week’s dwelling on the imperial legacy of tea.
The 40K Curatorial Studio Space is separate and distinct from the programmed exhibition spaces at Gund Hall, fostering a practice that is both concurrent with and alternative to that of the mothership.
Eppur si muove!
Meetings are held every Monday at 12:00 sharp on 40 Kirkland Street, feral lunch included. And yes, there’s more: in a spirit of complete and reckless spontaneity, a google doc form and email account (40KirklandStudio@gmail.com) have been set up for submissions of all stripes.
Mónica Belevan (MDesS ‘13) is a Peruvian writer and a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s MDesS in the History and Philosophy of Design.