PAST-FUTURE-PERFECT / VITRA SHOWROOM
DESIGN WITHIN REACH, AUSTIN TX
SPRING 2016, DESIGN Iv
JAN 27 - MAY 30
For the first phase of this project, IIDA challenged students to design a lounge space within a booth for Orgatec Fair 2017, sponsored by the timeless furniture company Vitra. Honing in on Vitra’s ability to “combine past, present, and future to productive effect,” I began questioning past obsessions with the future and current nostalgic-overload of the past. Playing with triangular forms for the main body of the booth (left, center), my design began to resemble a sort of space-ship. This drew back to early collage inspirations I produced (left, top) while also maintaining the sort of sculptural quality which had first excited me about Vitra. The final iteration can be viewed in an exploded axon (left, bottom.) Expanding on this initial exercise (but now switching the focus entirely to Vitra), an existing furniture showroom in Austin would be redesigned to accommodate exclusively to the brand. The triangulated booth form was adapted to fit the existing showroom space, as well as fulfill the programmatic requirements of: display, an artist’s studio, and a public events area. The timelessness and depth Vitra possesses and the idea that “a vibrant space gathers character through a mix of old and new” remained influences on the design. Considering the notion of time-- specifically the contrast between past obsession with future society and today's nostalgia for the past-- seemed to be Vitra’s key to success. A sort of meshing of past, present, and future. My design thus takes the iconic furniture forms the company produces and places them in a futuristic environment in order to create an altered reading of the familiar. My approach to display reflects this--chairs floating on slanted, tapered surfaces that have a reflective metal cladding. The triangulated form allows for a semi-open floor plan, necessary for a retail environment, while placing the furniture pieces center stage.