Measuring Labor: The Storefront for Art and Architecture Facade

The Architecture Lobby participated in Storefront for Art and Architecture’s third drawing show entitled: Measure.  Our drawing, Measuring Labor: The Storefront For Art & Architecture Facade, was submitted to the exhibition and auction to provoke a conversation about architectural labor, while providing continued support for the institution.

From Storefront for Art and Architecture

To measure, to quantify the physical and intangible dimensions of a place, is to articulate facts in order to construct values. The process of creating standards and guidelines of representation allows innovation to enter the realm of the establishment. What can be measured can be capitalized, historicized, and sold.

While architecture representation conforms to a system of standards and guidelines that allow architecture to produce buildings, architecture is also the practice of giving form to thought. In the process of producing these edifices that house social, political and spatial relations, architects make visible the functioning of society in its operational and aspirational terms, constantly innovating new forms of measurement and representation.

The pleasure and pressure to measure and be measured has become increasingly present. The access to growing data sets, new sensing technologies together with the redefinition of public and private domains in terms of information and space, invites us to reflect on the ideologies and values that each one of us are able and desiring to count, measure and draw.

Measure will present 30 drawings of Storefront for Art and Architecture’s gallery space in 97 Kenmare by 30 international architects presenting 30 edifices of thought.

Measuring Labor: The Storefront For Art & Architecture Facade

Our manifesto doesn’t address data but data is implicated both positively and negatively in its plea.  Data is evidence.  It is important evidence.  In our case, as indicated in our drawing of architectural work, which we have done for the exhibition and the auction, we are primarily interested in the evidence of extensive labor hours architects, designers, staff and constructors contribute to a design.  Work that goes unacknowledged, not only by the public, but by ourselves.  We need to know our value. We need to know, as lawyers do, that time equals money.  But data evaluates the past and a manifesto demands for the future.  Data is scientific and the manifesto is theoretical.  We resist the idea that a manifesto and data are temporally compatible.

2470*.  Two thousand four hundred seventy is the number of total hours invested in the design, construction and management of Storefront for Art and Architecture for its original construction in 1993 and its reconstruction in 2008.  The drawing captures this research and presents time and labor alongside the constructed edifice itself to establish the value of work.

*NOTE: While we researched who worked on the facade and over what duration of time, the actual hours are unknown.  We have assessed the hours based on conversations with many individuals, archival research, and our own knowledge of the profession, but they are ultimately educated estimates.

Peggy Deamer and Quilian Riano represented the Architecture Lobby at the Storefront for Art and Architecture for the opening event on August 25.