‘The Architecture of social space — Opening spaces of critique within the places we live’

Matthew’s work focuses on the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences. His practice is conceptual and manifests as participatory public interventions that invite a critical perspective and a sense of openness to the places we live. It opens a dialogue that dissects the systems that make up our ‘everyday’ while exploring the potentials in public spaces that are too often taken for granted.

Using design as a vehicle, the socially-engaged participatory interventions Matthew creates challenges users by finding new ways of integrating their daily lives with their surroundings. It strategically co-opts accessible elements of formal sculptural and architectural design and combines them with the compelling social and contextual components of a specific location to generate synergy and potency.

In the art-making process, Matthew partners with communities, funding agencies, and city governments to help create new models of living that contribute to local culture beyond the economic realm. In building these multidimensional collaborative experiences, the work calls on people from a range of backgrounds to work together toward a transformative experience. Participants include community members, academics, engineers, laborers, activists, artists, poets, and anyone else willing to engage in an experiential and participatory process.

Matthew’s work, when experienced, illustrates the transformative power of collaborations between artists and communities to convert neglected and uninspired urban spaces into creative public tools for growth. It creates social situations that open space for dialogues around issues of ‘becoming’, understanding that there’s more to us than our surroundings give us credit to ‘be’.

Matthew’s work has been recognized both nationally and internationally and he is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a Masters of Science in Visual Studies in 2009 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.