germaneintervention

Germane Barnes continues to Lead on Sustainable Intervention

By UM News

Germane Barnes continues to Lead on Sustainable Intervention

By UM News
Opa-Locka, Sacred Stoops, and Raw Pop-Up at BCC

U-SoA’s Germane Barnes continues to pioneer investigations of architecture’s social and political agency in black communities, recently sharing his Made in Opa-locka and Sacred Stoops initiatives at Princeton and Smithsonian National Museum. Barnes’ work as the Designer-In-Residence of the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation was featured at the Princeton School of Architecture Fall Lecture Series; Domestic, gathering artists, architects, and designers around the topic of domesticity. Barnes continues to receive notoriety from his initiatives due to their grassroots nature and intersection of architecture, urban planning, activism, politics, community engagement and spatial awareness. Barnes, Senior Lecturer at University of Miami School of Architecture, was also celebrated as one of the design professionals changing the culture at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History; Shifting the Landscape Symposium on Black Architects and Planners, 1968 to Now.

Made in Opa-locka presents a conceptual model for addressing the contemporary city as a landscape for sustainable intervention. It Is being developed as a bottom-up, “retrofitting” approach and is developed in collaboration with a black community-based non-profit organization called the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation. The project, which will be spread over multiple sites and land use designations in a single city, is an urban-scale design project. Located within the Magnolia North neighborhood in the City of Opa-locka, Florida — one of the poorest and highest- crime urban areas in the United States — the project seeks to produce an identity for Opa-locka as a place of production and positive activity that extends from the domestic sphere.

Sacred Stoops: Typological Studies of Black Congregational Spaces, is an investigation of the porch and its role in the African-American community. The Porch is one of the most recognizable symbols in the history of the traditional American home. Operating as interstitial space, simultaneously public and private, the stoop has molded the perception of numerous black communities. Depending on vernacular and location, the porch manifests itself in many different ways. It is also an overt reminder of how racism and the built environment continue to shape this country. The porch is an important space for observation of collective identity and entry point to the home as well as issues of race, segregation, and spatial politics. Barnes’ research has extended from merely investigative to an installation at Brickell City Center through an exhibition organized by Raw Pop Up. Utilizing the Constructivist design exercise of the nine-square grid, Sacred Stoops will create interior porches with a defined kit of parts. Architecture has always excelled at using the built environment to convey narratives. Unfortunately, that opportunity has rarely materialized in African-American communities. This design proposal aims to provide access to narratives undiscovered and often neglected. The Brickell City Center pop up event allowed visitors to learn details about the black experience in the built environment. The opening event of the pop up featured a panel discussion among the artists and the organizers, which gave Barnes the opportunity to share more information in addition to the installation.  

Tune in: German Barnes, Porch: Politics as Usual | Fall 2018 Princeton Lecture Series