SOMETHING BORROWED

Harlem, New York, 2015

 

Published in Manifest Issue 2: Kingdoms of God

With Jaffer Kolb and Evetta Petty

 

Much of Harlem’s architecture is defined through the opportunist appropriation of historic building typologies—most notably the conversion of ornate theaters and casinos from the Harlem Renaissance into spaces of worship by religious congregations. This process of retrofitting resulted in the unintentional preservation of a language of inherited ornaments, where garish gestures of theatrical excess are translated into an articulation of devotion. This project explores the scalelessness of these platonic forms—the cross, the dome, the crescent— and the generic pliancy of their iconography. Working in collaboration with Harlem based milliner Evetta Petty, the façade details were modeled and distorted using digital tools to generate a prototype for an architectural church hat.