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Drones’ Beach

Brillhart Architecture


Principal: Jacob Brillhart

Drones’ Beach is a multisensory installation that explores the boundaries of space and seeks to transform the MoMA PS1 courtyard as a whole. As setting and atmosphere, the beach serves as a playground for human experiences—each one unique—shaped by different cultural, situational, and personal conditions, moods, and memories.

The project uses existing infrastructure as a canvas for design, beginning with reconstituting the concrete walls of MoMA PS1’s courtyard. Wooden ribs increase the height and formal nature of the space while manipulating the vertical planes. The newly articulated surface is lined with images that evoke the sea and misting devices that create a “waterwomb.” The ground has been transformed to suggest pink sand, while four “nest-infested” palm trees tower above the space, providing landing spots for camera-equipped recreational drones. Associative smells—such as bay rum, campfire, saltwater, and sailboat cabin—function as instruments for memory and navigation, while the music from the DJ amplifies the experience.

Drones’ Beach brings the narrative of escapism into a contemporary public space. With some ambiguity, the project speaks to the transformation of static urban environments into participatory, performative social spaces. All the while, aerial photography offers new vantage points and ways of seeing.

Collaborators include photographer Richard Misrach and Berlin-based smell researcher Sissel Tolaas.