prototype 180Mary Ellen Carroll
EditorDavid Joselit, Lars Lerup, and Judith Kirshner
GRANTEEMary Ellen Carroll
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
prototype 180 is an urban alteration that engages a radical form of retrofitting through the physical rotation and reoccupation of a single-family home in the aging, first-ring subdivision of Sharpstown in Houston, Texas. In conception and planning for over ten years, the project is temporally, physically, and conceptually organized around its catalytic rotational transformation. While the rotation and relocation of the house on its lot interrupts the relation of the house to its context—and to existing street typologies—the 180 degree spin also signals the future life of the house as an institute, which will serve as a model/laboratory capable of studying its own materiality and architectural program. prototype 180 strategically intersects conceptual art projects, social activism, urban legislation, and economic processes. Its 180 degree reorientation registers aesthetically against a history of critical house alterations and administratively in relation to Houston's unregulated land-use policies and absence of zoning laws.
Mary Ellen Carroll's prolific career spans more than twenty years and a range of practices, from art and architecture to performance and film. Carroll is the recipient of numerous grants and honors, including most recently a 2010 Graham Foundation grant for prototype 180 and innovation territory and the AIA's Artist of the Year Award. She has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pollack/Krasner Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited at numerous American and international galleries, including the Whitney Museum, New York; ICA, Philadelphia; the Renaissance Society, Chicago; ICA, London; the Museum fur Völkerkunde, Munich; and MOMUK, Vienna. Her work belongs to numerous public and private collections. A monograph of published by SteidlMACK (London and Gottingen) received the AIGA's Book of the Year Award in 2010. Carroll teaches in the Architecture School at Rice University. prototype 180 was included in the 2012 Busan Biennial in South Korea.
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