Hou de Sousa: Prismatic

May 25, 2019
Sculpture & Architecture Park

Prismatic is a kaleidoscopic experience of light, color, and space framed by a myriad of perspectives. Unique on all sides, the piece encourages the public to explore its exterior, as well as meander through its translucent corridors. Iridescent rope weaves between a lattice of rebar, while the gaps between these cords provides transparency and results in a dynamic visual effect known as a moiré. As visitors turn their gaze or walk about the space, patterns in the background and foreground continuously converge and delaminate, warping visual perception and causing static surfaces to appear in flux.

Prismatic was designed and shaped through a process of competing forces. Prisms burst from a center point but are bound to the confines of a box. Further fractured into nine unique parcels and pushed apart, the tension between polar agendas is at once alleviated and re-compartmentalized.

Hou de Sousa is a New York based design studio whose projects span between architecture and public art. Some of the studio’s recent honors include the winning proposal for the Architectural League of New York’s 2016 Folly/Function competition to design and build an open-air educational space at Socrates Sculpture Park. That same year, the office won the Re-ball! International Design competition, and built an installation titled “Raise/Raze” within Dupont Underground in Washington DC. Hou de Sousa was awarded Second Prize for their first large-scale competition proposal in 2017; the Museum of World Writing in Songdo, South Korea. The office has been featured as a “Firm to Watch” in Architectural Record and has been published domestically and internationally in media outlets such as Architectural Review, Domus, Dwell, Interior Design, Metropolis, NBC, and The Washington Post.

Originally from Shanghai, Nancy Hou grew up in Quito, Ecuador and went on to receive a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell and a Master of Architecture from the Harvard GSD. In addition to her practice at Hou de Sousa, Nancy also serves as a Board Member of HAAUS (Harvard Alumni Architectural and Urban Society) and teaches at Parsons School of Design.

Prior to co-founding Hou de Sousa, Josh de Sousa designed a wide range of projects at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Joel Sanders Architect, and Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Josh also received his Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell, and a Master of Architecture from Harvard and teaches at Parsons School of Design.

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