featured project: New Post occupancy

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In the building industry, post-occupancy evaluations are commonly used to understand how a building performs. It's been eighty years since the New Deal when the federal government built a slew (1,500) of new post offices among 30,000 other buildings. Now, these beauties are aging, and decisions about their futures will have to be made. However, there has never been an evaluation of their designs, functions, or usages from a critical-creative perspective. Sarah and Ben will fill this gap with their project: New Post Occupancy.

During the summer of 2018, Sarah and Ben are hitting the road to document these buildings through photos, drawings, written descriptions, and audio recordings. But that’s just where this project begins.

Sarah is also writing Concrete poetry postcard poems at each post office. Since so many of the New Deal era post offices have murals, they thought Concrete poetry, which sits in the joint between page poetry and painting, would be the perfect poetics to explore. Each postcard poem will write back to these historically important murals, which were designed to paint the nation forward, out of the Great Depression. Each postcard will document a different post office, and by sending them back to Somerville, will also be a record of the journeys the postal service enables every day.

To find out where Sarah and Ben are going or to suggest your favorite post office mural, check out the New Post Occupancy website.

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