May 17 – August 30, 2015 Opening: January 1, 1970 (3 – 6pm)


Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York are pleased to present the winning proposal for the 2015 Folly Program – an annual juried competition targeted to early career architects and designers.

Cambridge and Philadelphia-based firm IK Studio won this year’s competition with their innovative proposal, Torqueing Spheres, which transforms a series of intertwining, sculpted forms into a meandering curved folly that encourages social interaction. IK Studio’s proposal was selected from 126 submissions from around the world and reviewed by a jury of five esteemed architects and artists, including David Benjamin (The Living); Leslie Gill (Architect); Sheila Kennedy (Kennedy & Violich Architecture); Alyson Shotz (Artist); and Socrates Sculpture Park Executive Director John Hatfield.

Torqueing Spheres features eight plywood domes, ranging from adult to child-size that follow an undulating, diminishing line along the East River. The plywood is shaped by a particular cold-bending method, without the use of steam or kerfing. Assembled into their domes, two properties emerge: sound reflected as echo, and movement of the panels from humidity and weather. As the wood’s fibres absorb and lose moisture over different weather conditions, the bent panels are predefined to close and open in their particular directions.

This project continues a research strain of IK Studio in compliant mechanisms and soft robotic systems. The overall affect is a series of reciprocating, atmospherically responsive shells. (DOWNLOAD WINNING PROPOSAL)

IK Studio is grateful for the generosity of the folly project’s supporters: PennDesign; Harvard University GSD; Immersive Kinematics; and RAIR.

With special thanks to Chris Johnson; Iman Fayyad; Charlotte Lipschitz; and Ben Ruswick.

Torqueing Spheres opens at Socrates Sculpture Park in
Long Island City, Queens, on Sunday, May 17th from 3:00-6:00PM.


IK Studio is a young design and research practice that engages material performance, adaptable tectonics, spatial interaction, and robotics within architecture and urbanism. The practice was established by Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim in parallel with their academic pursuits and teaching at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. In every project, IK Studio engages with multiple scales, establishing new forms of organization among immersive technologies and their relationships to design. (DOWNLOAD BIOS)

Download the full press announcement.


The Folly Program is an annual competition among emerging architects to design and build a large-scale project for public exhibition at Socrates. The program is directed jointly by Elissa Goldstone, the park’s Director of Exhibitions, and Anne Rieselbach, Program Director, The Architectural League of New York.

Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League launched the annual Folly Program in 2012 to explore the intersections and divergences between architecture and sculpture. Through an annual juried competition, the program creates an opportunity for one emerging architect or designer to build a project in an urban, public realm. In the four years of the program, approximately 600 proposals have been submitted by architects from around the world. Previous winning proposals include SuralArk, 2014, by Austin+Mergold; tree wood, 2013, by Toshihiro Oki architect p.c.; and Curtain, 2012, by Jerome K Haferd and Brandt Knapp.


Folly is a partnership of Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York. This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Socrates Sculpture Park’s Exhibition Program is also supported by the generosity of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Charina Endowment Fund, Mark di Suvero, Sidney E. Frank Foundation, Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation, Agnes Gund, Lambent Foundation, Ivana Mestrovic, Plant Specialists, Shelley and Donald Rubin, Spacetime C. C., and Robert and Christine Stiller.

And special thanks goes to our public partners, including the City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda R. Katz, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Commissioner Mitchell Silver, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl.


The Architectural League nurtures excellence in architecture, design, and urbanism, and stimulates thinking and debate about the critical design and building issues of our time. As a vital, independent forum for architecture and its allied disciplines, the League helps create a more beautiful, vibrant, innovative, and sustainable future.