Re-Ball! was an open design competition that asked entrants to repurpose 650,000 plastic balls, from the National Building Museum’s 2015 Beach installation by Snarkitecture, using the balls to create an installation in a portion of the Dupont Underground’s 75,000ft2 platforms and tunnels.
In March 2016, Dupont Underground gathered a jury of internationally recognized artists, designers and curators to chose a winning proposal from ninety-three entries representing nineteen different nations. New York-based design studio Hou de Sousa took the honors. Their proposal, Raise/Raze, was based on a single simple move: create uniform, modular blocks from the balls, and use these blocks to build structures and environments that the visitor could interact with and alter as they desired.
Raise/Raze was executed on a limited budget, in a limited time frame. It transformed the chaos of the Beach’s giant ball pit into the structured play of a sandbox. Most importantly, Raise/Raze also gave Dupont Underground multiple opportunities to engage its community and its audience, and refine its mission and identity. Over 1400 volunteers passed through the Dupont Underground over the course of six weeks to help build Raise/Raze. The installation opened April 30th, 2016, and sold out its entire one month run in two days.
Featured Artist: Hou de Sousa
05.05.2016: “UNDERNEATH DUPONT CIRCLE: A PLAYGROUND FOR DEMOCRACY” – WASHINGTON POST
04.22.2016: DUPONT UNDERGROUND ON THE KOJO NNAMDI BLOG.
02.26.2016: DU AND RE-BALL! FEATURED ON WJLA, ABC NEWS