Mobile Museum

SMP Mobile Museum 1

The SoHo Memory Project Mobile Museum

The SoHo Memory Project Mobile Museum navigates the bustling urban environment of today’s SoHo while showing us a glimpse of its past. Using unconventional media, it chronicles the evolution of SoHo from farmland to high-end retail hub, charting its cycles of development and thus placing current day SoHo in the context of New York City’s history.

This exhibition is designed to be accessible to all audiences by including multiple entry points: objects, ephemera, photographs, sound, and video, as well as unconventional media, including 3-D printed miniatures, comic books, LP record jackets, family photo albums, a smelling station, and even Viewmaster viewers.

Mobile Exhibition Outline

SoHo 1960-1980
In the decades between 1960-1980, SoHo evolved from a manufacturing district to a vibrant artists community whose mythical image looms large in the public imagination.

Innovations in the way people would LIVE, WORK, PLAY, and EAT in SoHo during this period had lasting influences on the social and cultural landscape of New York City.

The cast iron buildings of SoHo were built to house factories, not people. Artists sacrificed the basic comforts of a “home” in order to live and work in these vast, commercially-zoned spaces. The adaptive reuse of buildings and loft living, so common in New York City today, originated here.

Many residents of SoHo from as early as the 1950’s were artists who lived and worked in a single space. The notion of melding one’s personal and professional life into a single continuum, unusual at the time, is now a mainstream lifestyle choice.

SoHo children were born into the harsh environment of loft living. They did not choose it, they did not know anything else. Good or bad, it was a singular upbringing. Children made toys from items discarded by local factories. Cardboard tubes, buttons, and fabric scraps fueled a generation of creative imaginations.

Although food was at times scarce, the SoHo community celebrated the act of eating as an art form as well as a daily necessity. FOOD, one of SoHo’s first restaurants, and Dean & Deluca, one of its first grocery stores, introduced New York City to new modes of eating and helped New Yorkers change the way they think about food.



One Response to “Mobile Museum”

  1. EVENT: Yukio Ohta Discusses the Soho Memory Project | Pratt Social Practice Says:

    […] to join my class for guest speaker Yukie Ohta, who will be discussing the SoHo Memory Project. The SoHo Memory Project is building a portable historical society that can navigate the bustling urban environment of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: