Folly/Function 2019: Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

School Studio

Folly/Function is an annual juried competition engaging architects to design and build a project for public use at Socrates Sculpture Park.

Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York are pleased to announce that Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear by School Studio is the winning proposal for the seventh annual Folly/Function, a juried design/build competition for architects and designers. The project, conceived by Brooklyn-based firm School Studio, is a mirrored cube kiosk with sliding wall-doors and applied signage.

School Studio’s innovative design maintains the functional intent of a kiosk—to impart information—while blending into the landscape creating a paradox of visibility and invisibility. The structure’s mirrored surfaces reflect the sky, landscape, and sculptures, while its steel armature echoes the Park’s industrial roots. Sliding wall extensions reveal the interior and allow for multiple structural configurations.

Seen from afar, when the mirrored doors of the kiosk are closed, the structure melts into the scenery. Up close, the kiosk signage is revealed to the viewer, and the mirrored surface allows visitors to view a reflection of themselves and the Park.

The clarity of the kiosk’s exposed I-beam frame contrasts with the illusion of the mirrored surface. The interior of each wall-door features cedar boarding and a flexible hook system to maximize the kiosk’s potential for storage and display. Inside, simple plywood furniture and cabinetry complement the architecture of the structural frame. These details emphasize the materiality of the kiosk’s construction and realize the Park’s aim to highlight the creative process from start to finish.

School Studio is a Brooklyn-based architecture and design collaborative led by Kyle Bigart and Kathryn Hoefler. Focusing on human-centered design at every scale, School Studio takes a cross-disciplinary collaborative stance on every project through a research and conceptual-based approach.

Reimagining the kiosk

A typical kiosk may offer newspapers, maps, or bottled water. These Folly/Function entries asked what else they could do.

July 24, 2019


Folly/Function, a partnership of Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York, is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.