STAGE COMMON :: an open collaborative project for art Eating, drinking, dancing, playing music etc are commonplace performances that have enlivened the streets of Manhattan from open storefronts such as Porchetta or Abraco to plazas like Washington Square park and Union Square. Recently, temporal programming that converted parking spots into seating deck has also enlivened streets, bringing more pedestrian traffic to businesses and doubling as social venues of informal interaction within patrons of the neighborhood. But how can we rip the benefits of such outdoor structures from just being an extension of a retail or restaurant business to a more socially conscious undertaking? ‘Stage Common’ is a proposal of the transformation of a street parking spot as a small shared venue for art including film screening, dancing, live music performances, comedy shows, puppet theater shows, exhibition etc with the priority to support small independent artists or artist groups. With a 24 feet by 10 feet dimension of a parking spot, ‘Stage Common’ would provide: a small multi-purpose stage, a raked
seating of about 20-30 people to ensure good sight lines, and provision of a planted zone. The small scale of the venue means that every audience has a ‘front row’ experience within 15 feet of the performance or special exhibition.The venue would also serve as an open public seating area when no performances are taking place. The vision is to make an informal and free venue for emerging independent artists to perform, while providing quality art performances for the inhabitants of the neighborhood. We believe that with an intimate setting and an unique positioning within the hearts of neighborhoods, ‘stage common’ would provoke a particular form of art work that is unique to the scale and to the streets and context of Manhattan. By placing this unique form of performance right in the face and alongside everyone’s daily paths back home on their streets, we also hope that ‘stage common’ would attract and encourage new patrons of art that would otherwise be impossible.
SPECIAL EXHIBITION, MOVIE SCREENING, MUSICAL, COMEDY SHOW, PUPPET THEATER, DANCING, LIVE MUSIC PERFORMANCE, SEATING, ETC...
COMM E ON
The project is a collaborative effort between various art organizations and Architecture Commons. Architecture Commons is a young design collaborative that tackles design problems from bottom up involving opinions of the public. We strive to create space and architecture that is sympathatic to how we live, work and play. Our work has been published in Metropolis Magazine, Boston Globe, Design Like You Give a Damn, Harvard Gazette, and interviewed by CNN. Please visit us at http://www.architecturecommons.com
A temporary transformation of a street parking stall measuring 10 x 24ft into a small outdoor theater or exhibition space of about 20-30 seats in the summer open for use by the general public, art organizations and the like. The events and programming could range from dance, film-screening to special exhibits and street art.
All the cost of design and construction would be funded by foundations or entirely crowdsourced, so participating art organizations or artists would never have to pay a dime to perform in this space yet having an amazing exposure to the city and its inhabitants right at their doorsteps. We are estimating that each stage would cost between $10,000 $20,000.
We are at the very beginning of our quest to make this happen, we need your help! Simply sign up at : or email us at
to show your interest as an organization or individual to participate, then we will take it from there. Once we have gauge the level of interest, we will get to serious business of talking to each of you and also to funding organizations. We envision that we will do a round of design prototyping and criticism in summer 2012, and with implementation in summer 2013. ARCHITECTURE COMMONS