AZURE

THE WORLD OF URBAN-X

When I arrive at A/D/O by Mini in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, I am struck by how the squat, full-block building communicates itself as something old yet new. The graffitimarked brickwork is of a piece with the (rapidly gentrifying) industrial neighbourhood, but the patio is shaped as if someone has sliced off a triangular wedge from the one-storey volume, providing a jolt of the novel and exciting.

It’s a sun-showery May afternoon during NYCxDesign and I’m here to learn about A/D/O and specifically its Urban-X accelerator. But I also want to experience the eminently Instagrammable installation in the courtyard. Called , it’s composed of two terracotta-coloured layers – a floor and a ceiling – connected by a hidden system of steel springs and pulleys. When you step onto the floor, your feet sink into the “ground” and the portion of ceiling above your head lifts like a dome, its tile-like modules separating to bring glimpses of the city into view. The artist Nassia Inglessis and her outfit, Studio INI of London and Athens, have in effect transmuted the rigid materials of urban environments – the modular, terracotta-like surfaces are, in fact, made of a mix of rubber and concrete – into a malleable, human-centric palette that reacts and responds to an individual’s movement. It symbolizes much of what

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