Broadacre 2017

Broadacre 2017 (aka Broadhater City, Fraudacre City, Heartbreaker City & BAH! City) is our cover version of a famous architectural model, designed to compliment & undermine the exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive at the Museum of Modern Art.


"The hard-rail, the power-, telephone- and telegraph-pole, signboard, the tin-can, the barbed-wire fence.... Any honest search will give you some faint hint of the hideous waste Broadacre City was designed definitely to repudiate…. The scaffolding still destroying our landscape—poles and wires, sign boards, railroad and lumber yards, etc., etc., do not exist in Broadacres.”
—Frank Lloyd Wright, The New Frontier: Broadacre City, 1940

In the early 1930s, Frank Lloyd Wright began to publicize a vision for a decongested modern city where each family would be given a minimum of one acre of land. Wright and his Taliesin collaborators created a 12 x 12' model of this Broadacre City to sell the idea that the right urban design could provide this better life with democracy and capitalism. Like many visionary schemes, Broadacre City was defined as much by what it excluded (smoke, wires, and slums) as by what it emphasized (land ownership, distance between buildings, and cars).

Eight decades later, our version provides everything visitors need to re-envision and update this dream-image of US civilization: acre-sized grid, interchangeable landscape tiles, wild variety of organic architectural materials, suggestion box, FM radio, USB charging station, didactic display panel, competition clock, and spycam. Rebooted, this altered replica can now include everything Wright deleted from his city, along with contemporary fantasies, desires, and conditions he never anticipated, such as self-driving cars, McMansions, Pokémon hunting, bike lanes, data centers, Instagram, and drive-thru coffee shops.

In addition to developing self-guided activities and training the museum's full-time facilitators, Hector facilitated a set of 90-minute workshops over the course of the exhibition including dress-up & role-playing to address the role of conflict and negativity in urban planning. Activities included spirited recitation of "What we say NO to," reenactment of Wright's showdown with the mayor of Pittsburgh & collaborative authorship of the new city's story. 

Broadacre 2017
Hector: Damon Rich & Jae Shin with Lucia Thome
The Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York