Sink or Swim
Designing for a Sea Change
Dec 13, 2014 - May 03, 2015

Sink or Swim explored the human story of resilience, from adaptation for survival to ambitious infrastructure planning, in some of the richest and poorest of the world’s coastal communities. Rather than showing pristine architectural photography, the photographs presented viewers with various human responses to changes in their landscapes that could be intensified by sea level rise. Sink or Swim aimed to foster critical dialogue through the provocative juxtaposition of diverse responses to a challenge shared by millions worldwide.

Curated by architecture writer, radio Host and Executive Producer of KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture Frances Anderton with the Annenberg Space for Photography, Sink or Swim featured newly commissioned and archival works by photographers Iwan Baan, Stephen Wilkes, Paula Bronstein, and Jonas Bendiksen. This was the first exhibition for the Annenberg Space for Photography to feature commissioned works. Sink or Swim also showcased photography by Mark Holtzman, Kip Evans and Monica Nouwens.

Through the work of this select group of architectural, fine art and news photographers, the exhibition examined both the problem of climate change in densely populated coastal regions and contemporary design as a means to navigate the changing landscapes.

Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change, was also featured at the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA. 

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