1 Young Architects Program 
Boards exhibited in 2001 at the Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art and P.S. 1's annual invited competition for young architects called for submissions on the theme of a "Paradise Island" to be installed in the P.S. 1 courtyard in Queens, New York.
Our project considered an urban paradise island as an independent microclimate within the city, self sufficient in its ambient energy requirements, yet intertwined with the urban infrastructure. Long Island City, Queens is one of the more highly polluted areas in the New York City region, and has an incredibly high incidence of asthma among children. The idea of a paradise island was especially relevant to this context as such islands often present the contradictions of great natural beauty and touristically destroyed ecosystems.
Our proposal for the "island" used systems which would both visually evoke a tropical island and work to offset its polluted urban environment. A grid of kevlar rope is woven above the courtyard as a scaffolding for solar panels, pollution-absorbing air plants, and a water misting system. The plants require only air and mist to grow, but they store large amounts of airborne toxins in their leaves, functioning as bio-monitors of ambient air quality. These plants, tropical in their appearance, are used scientifically for pollution-absorbing and pollution-monitoring around the world. The water misting system provides both nourishment for the plants and serves as a cooling source for the exposed courtyard space . The solar panels are used in conjunction with the air plants for a shading device, as well as to generate electricity for the misting pumps and lighting system.