NYC based design collective L.E.FT were YAP finalists in 2009 with their idea of moving beyond the recent economic collapse.
Q&A with L.E.FT
MoMA PS1: How did you position yourself to get nominated?
Ziad Jamaleddine, L.E.FT: Our portfolio proposed a “Recession Free” approach to the project. Here architecture still seeks ways to be relevant in an era of crisis. Countering the current trend of architecture growing uncomfortable with modernity by continuously pursuing a minimal impact on the planet—a disappearance/effacement—we proposed an architecture that still tries to give meaning, be present, and reflect on a world that stopped having a sense of collective aspiration.
MoMA PS1: Did YAP change anything for you or your firm? When did you recognize the full potential of the competition?
L.E.FT: The opportunity to participate in the program gave our firm and works greater public exposure, especially after the competition. During the competition we had broad interest from interns and other consultants to participate and contribute to the project.
MoMA PS1: How was your design shaped by the history of YAP?
L.E.FT: For the most part, the history of YAP, especially the winning entries, ignored the WarmUp part of the event, which is centered on drinking, and by extension on urinating. These entries had no interest in connecting or relating to MoMA PS1’s building either. Instead focus has been on creating an autonomous structure that mostly depended on a geometric exercise. We saw this as an opportunity to pragmatically and poetically address programmatic aspects of the competition by creating a shading structure derived from a central bar area and stretching diagonally across the courtyard to latch onto the corner of the building by tapping into MoMA PS1’s existing bathroom.