Organized by the arts collective Flux Factory, The Novel Project was conceived of as a 30-day experiment in creative isolation for three selected writers. Salazar Davis Architects was invited to participate in this project and was paired with the writer and critic Laurie Stone. SDA and two other artist/architect teams designed and built shelters in a Queens industrial gallery space, where the writers would craft novels in the course of their month in residence.
Rather than simply placing the writer on display, spaces for both writer and viewer were configured within the construct of an ideal 12-foot square cubicle. This encouraged the writer to be an active participant in choosing when and how to interact with her audience. The viewer, although at first seemingly in control of this relationship, quickly learned that “occupying” the cubicle required a degree of physical exertion and contortion (crouching, crawling, sliding) that left him exposed to the writer’s gaze.