It's easy to get overwhelmed at the Salone del Mobile and the dozens of related events during Milan Design Week. Luckily there are plenty of visual palate cleansers in form of immersive environments, from new showrooms by Pritzker Prize–winning architects to dazzling installations by up-and-coming designers. There is more to Milan Design Week than just great looking furniture! At the Triennale design museum, for instance, Paris-based DGT architects created a light-catching installation for Citizen watches called Light is Time (above), featuring space dividing curtains made of tens of thousands of watch plates. For the Swedish textile company Kinnasand, a division of Kvadrat, Toyo Ito designed a luminous new showroom to display the company's fabrics, many of which feature diaphanous qualities. Ito covered the walls in frosted glass, which gives them a shimmering quality as downlights tucked into the edge of the ceiling filter through the panels. The ceiling itself is paneled in reflective metal. Draped fabrics are displayed on curved metal rods suspended from the ceiling. Cassina tapped the rising Japanese star Sou Fujimoto to design a "floating forest" for their booth at the fairgrounds, arguably the most innovative display at the Salone. Fujimoto hung mirrored metal planters from the rafters, which held green Japanese maples. Canned bird noises added to the atmosphere, which felt both natural and surreal within the tradeshow hall. The reflective surfaces forced visitors to slow down within the booth, giving them more time to look at Cassina's classic and contemporary furnishings. Also at the fairgrounds, an invited group of architects—Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind, and Studio Mumbai—riffed on themes of domesticity with conceptual installations called, Where Architects Live. As far as installations like these at a furniture fair go, the installations were largely devoid of the trappings of daily life. Libeskind, for example, sliced deep voids into the walls, inset with screens showing videos about his personal history and architectural projects. Chipperfield showed of his German side, with photos of deliciously drab Berlin and clanging music underscoring the seriousness of the project.
Posts tagged with "Fabric":
Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu, partners at Los Angeles-based Oyler Wu Collaborative, recently completed an unusual project. The program was seemingly straightforward: create a temporary sales center on the future site of a high-rise residential tower in Taipei, also designed by the firm. The catch? Because they wanted to repurpose two existing structures rather than build the sales center from scratch, the developer restricted Oyler Wu Collaborative’s intervention to the application of seven-inch-thick cladding. Oyler and Wu weren’t having it. “We really wanted to do more than seven inches,” Wu said. “That’s not enough to do anything spatial.” They went back to the developer and asked for access to the second and third floors of the buildings. After all, the sales center itself would occupy only the top stories of the complex. The builders said yes. “Our developer is really pretty amazing,” Wu said. “He was really open-minded. It seems a little strange to them, but they said, let’s do it.” The architects transformed the existing buildings, a messy conglomeration of architectural styles, into a single volume. But in place of the blank box the developer had envisioned, Oyler and Wu created a dynamic exchange between solids and voids. A massive, asymmetrical cutout they call a “spatial ribbon” snakes from an aperture in the lobby to the building’s upper floors, exploding the traditional relationship between inside and out, and framing views of the city to the north and west. Undulating surfaces of fabric, rope, and steel frame flow through the cutout voids and onto the building’s facade, until they reach the top story and its horizontal band of windows. Oyler and Wu, whose portfolio of art/architecture installations include everything from a series of graduation pavilions for SCI-Arc to Taipei’s own Anemone, usually do their own design fabrication. But such a hands-on approach wasn’t feasible in the case of the sales tower, so the firm turned to an Internet-age solution. Oyler and Wu created step-by-step instructional videos and uploaded them to YouTube for the on-site fabricators to view. “They actually even improved on our technique, it was really interesting to see,” Wu said. “When I went to visit they were really proud to show us what they’ve done and how they do it.” Just as the Taipei sales center was designed as a liminal space, a temporary placeholder between what was and what will be, so the project may represent a moment of transition for Oyler Wu Collaborative. “A lot of people have asked how we transition from installations into larger buildings,” Wu said. The sales center is one answer to that question. Oyler added: “One of the things that we’ve been talking about the last couple of years is a lot of the techniques that we’re doing on the [sales center’s] facade. We did a couple of installations with rope and fabric; all were techniques we would experiment with applying to bigger buildings.” Oyler and Wu expect to break ground on their permanent tower, Taipei Tower 2.0, within the next several months.
ENfold Pavilion, a new temporary landscape installation designed by Perkins + Will in Boston’s Evans Way Park, utilizes natural reusable materials as its base and steers clear of harmful environmental impacts in both its construction and placement. The installation, which was chosen for Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Design Award prior to being realized, celebrates the recent designation of Boston’s Fenway as Boston’s first state-wide cultural district The permeable light catching ribbon is made of garden bed-liner fabric and is held in place by an invisible network of stainless steel cables. Its organic free-flowing form mimes the grace and movement of the expanse of tree branches above and is loosely woven between their trunks. ENfold’s spatial layout delineates a natural framework for park-goers and creates a natural "stage" for musical performances and other art happenings. The 500 foot long semi-translucent fabric loops its way throughout the entire park echoing wind and light along its way. The fabric will be recycled and used for the Boston Parks Department’s 2013 growing season.