A new pavilion has been constructed on the Cornell University Arts Quad as part of the Cornell Council for the Arts’ 2016 biennial. Titled URCHIN Impossible Circus and designed by Ithaca, New York and Brooklyn-based CODA, the recyclable installation is built from 500 borrowed plastic chairs and will be on display until late December.
With URCHIN, CODA seeks to question the role of the everyday object—the chair—and its usefulness. Although from up-close, the pavilion is easily understood as a concentrated and focused exercise in repetition, the arrangement appears as a singular, spiky entity when viewed from afar. According to CODA’s website, the “object’s features are no longer understood in terms of their use (legs, arms, seat), but in terms of their form (spikes, curves, voids) as, due to their rotation from the ground, they lose their relationship with the human body.”
CODA is known for its innovative use of materials, its approach to sustainability, as well as for sparking dynamic interactions between the architecture and its inhabitants over time. As CODA states on their website, “no chairs were harmed during the production of URCHIN Impossible Circus,” stating that they will be “returned to circulation afterward.”