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Fragments in the Field : Arcade architecture & design principles Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson talk about "Mastheads" A residency you need to know about

What is Mastheads ? you need to know about

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Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson, principals at ARCADE, will share their project The Mastheads, a series of mobile structures conjuring the history of American Renaissance authors in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the project shaped the beginning of their practice as one focused on using design to revive culture and history in post-industrial American cities.

The Mastheads is a public humanities project in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. We seek to connect residents to the literary history of the region, create a forum for thinking about place, and support the production of new creative work. Founded in 2016 upon the legacy of five American Renaissance authors who wrote in Pittsfield, The Mastheads is at once an urban architectural experiment, a literary research initiative, a writers’ residency, and an educational program.

ARCADE is an architectural office whose mission is to use design as a platform to create and support culture in disinvested, de-industrialized cities. Based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, ARCADE is run by partners Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson, both of whom are Berkshire County natives.


ARCADE's work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, displayed at MASS MoCA and Hancock Shaker Village, and featured in Dwell Magazine and the Boston Globe. Clients include Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock, the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center, and the city of Pittsfield's Offices of Cultural Development and Community Development, among others.

Tessa Kelly is a graduate of Williams College and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has taught in the graduate program at the Yale School of Architecture. Chris Parkinson is a graduate of Amherst College and the Yale School of Architecture, and currently teaches in the architecture department at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute.