2023 Fay Chandler Creativity Grant

Installation view of Testbeds in the exhibition "Architecture Now: New York, New Publics," MoMA, February 19, 2023–July 29, 2023. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Testbeds Pilot Project, The Garden by the Bay Community Garden in Edgemere, Queens.
Testbeds Pilot Project, The Garden by the Bay Community Garden in Edgemere, Queens.
Testbeds Pilot Project, The Garden by the Bay Community Garden in Edgemere, Queens.

A new life for the byproducts of architectural design


How might the materials of architectural design and production be refashioned for alternative futures? The Testbeds project repurposes architectural mockups built to test the visual and performance qualities of a building assembly as sheds, casitas, and greenhouses in public community gardens.

By relocating mockups to local community gardens, project creators New Affiliates (a New York-based studio led by Ivi Diamantopoulou and Jaffer Kolb, Lecturer in the MIT Department of Architecture) and architectural historian Samuel Stewart-Halevy imagined a new form of Manhattan transfer. The mockup becomes a vehicle carrying the surplus value of New York’s high rise architecture into neighborhoods that have been historically disinvested.

At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a multimedia and interactive presentation of Testbeds is featured in New York: New Publics, an exhibition of recent innovative public design projects.

More about the project: Testbeds
More about the exhibition: New York: New Publics


Exhibited in New York: New Publics
On view February 19 – July 29, 2023
The Museum of Modern Art
11 W 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019


Ivi Diamantopoulou, architect and co-principal of New Affiliates, is a registered architect in New York and Greece, with over a decade of experience in designing and realizing built work. Alongside practice, she directs Syracuse Architecture’s New York City Program.


MIT Lecturer of Architecture and co-principal of the design firm New Affiliates Jaffer Kolb’s work explores how architecture is shaped by, and shapes, local economies and political systems through its practice and its form. 

Biography: MIT Architecture Department


Samuel Stewart-Halevy, doctoral candidate in architectural history at Columbia University, works toward a theory of practice by uncovering the essential assumptions underlying the routines of architectural design and culture.

Biography: Columbia University


Testbeds is a collaboration between New Affiliates and Samuel Stewart-Halevy, along with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation’s GreenThumb community gardening program.

Fabrication and installation by Think Construction

Fiscal sponsorship by the Architectural League

Structural engineering consulting by Silman

Supported by a Fay Chandler Creativity Grant from the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST).