Arts & Culture, Went There

Bigger than a breadbox, smaller than a building @ BSA Space

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One of the highlights of this exhibition is watching full-grown adults crawl on the ground to cram themselves into Matter Design’s Microtherme. Viewers are invited to engage with several of the pieces at the Boston Society of Architects Space, crawling inside or even drawing on them, in the case of The Pulp Canopy by Katie Donahue, Mason Limke, and Yandy Cheng of MYKA. Installation in art “made art much more participatory,” says Rob Trumbour, the exhibition’s curator. “As architects, we really learned the benefits of that, and applied it to our work.”

Installation, and the scale between model and building, is a useful tool for architects playing with new ideas. In architecture, it can be years between an initial idea and a finished work, while in other media, artists can test out new ideas more quickly. “Like in music, a trumpet player can inhale and exhale and get immediate results,” says Rob. “But it’s a long, long time from beginning to end with a building.”

The exhibition is also concerned about the process between idea and object. “It’s showing the public how architects work through actually making things, and not just drawing things.” Next to several pieces, there are videos showing the process and explaining the materials. “There’s a lot of work there that’s displayed through videos,” says Rob. “The goal is to see the process.”

The exhibition is a mix of whole installations and parts of larger installations. “Because there is so much built work there, it’s much more visually engaging,” says Rob. “Architecture can be difficult to connect with because the way that architects talk, and the way that we draw, is for each other.” Installations are more accessible. “I’m hoping that the exhibition does reach people that are non-architects.”

 Written by Josie Grove

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