Yale Students Fill Vacant Storefront with Classwork

Window shoppers walking down Chapel Street’s retail row may pause at a display of plywood structures in the storefront of 978 Chapel St. and wonder: “What are joints like that doing in a place like this?”

Window shoppers walking down Chapel Street’s retail row may pause at a display of plywood structures in the storefront of 978 Chapel St. and wonder: “What are joints like that doing in a place like this?”

The “body-sized” sculptures, made up of differing configurations of intersecting plywood shapes, are actually the completed projects of students in a class on “Methods and Form in Architecture” at Yale College.

Working in teams of two, the students must complete artistic projects that conform to certain specifications; in this case, for example, the only material they could use for the project was a single 4’ x 8’ x 3/4” sheet of AC grade plywood, and the finished structure had to be able to support the weight of one student. The project, which students had two weeks to complete, is a hands-on exercise in understanding “the architectural joint and the human body,” according the course description provided by its teachers Dean Sakamoto and Joyce Hsiang.

While the students are learning basic properties of human and architectural joints, they are also providing a valuable community service by filling a vacant store with eye-arresting art until a new tenant moves in, note the instructors.

The exhibition is partially funded by the architectural firm Pickard Chilton, which occupies the upstairs space of the storefront property.

A free and public reception for the exhibition will be held at 978 Chapel St., February 9, 4 to 6 p.m.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345