M’Bongi: A Place of Non-Warship
School of Visual Arts presents “M’Bongi: A Place of Non-Warship,” an exhibition of work by third-year BFA Interior Design students. Curated by architect and department faculty member Jack Travis, “M’Bongi” will be on view Saturday, December 2, through Saturday, January 6, at the SVA Flatiron Gallery, 133/141 West 21st Street, New York City.
In “M’Bongi: A Place of Non-Warship,” students explored notions of biophilia in place-making and evolved design concepts for “a place of non-warship”: a nonprofit peace center in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
For over five weeks, students researched major worldwide conflicts to have a greater knowledge of the challenge in the art of peacemaking. Biophilia, the study of humans and their relationship to nature, suggests that nature plays an important role in enhancing our ability to successfully understand and take on stressful and difficult matters. Students were asked to provide evidence-based design research criteria to support their proposals in this regard.
The projects on view propose solutions to the problem of defining proper “place-making” for conflict resolution and negotiation between groups of people with longstanding differences, particularly those whose conflicts have resulted in catastrophic suffering. The participating students have been charged with implementing design as a positive strategy for achieving peace.
As explained by curator Jack Travis:
“Non-warship” is a term I am using to codify zones where peace and conflict resolution are respected and where the art of negation for justice is sovereign. Sites such as this one are meant to be placed worldwide wherever there has been an incident of significant conflict. Students will research and learn about the relevance of their site and how conflict resolution might be assisted by design.
Participating student designers include: Rana Afsar, Tianqi Chang, Erin Checkosky, Jackson Dahl, Michael Houck, June Jang, Fangzhou Ji, Qingyu Li, Christine Marsigliano, Kanha Mistry, Martin Ngo, Dina Said and James Seo.