Here’s what can happen when machine-made meets handmade. To create the 1,200-square-foot installation for Guangzhou Design Week, along the country’s southern coast, the firm formed 59,000 black and 89,000 white tubes, and then inserted them in the tiny holes peppering four tall, curving partitions.
“The contrasting colors produced an elastic rhythm,” one of the firm’s CEOs, Golden Ho, recalls. The towering, tightly spaced stainless-steel arcs may have suggested a Richard Serra sculpture. But their rolled stuffing—sheets of thin black cardboard and white waxed paper, like that used for baking—softened the structures physically and, adds Ho, acoustically: “When engaged by visitors, the materials issued a crisp sound, as if being touched by numerous pairs of little hands, which encouraged interaction from even more people.”
Interaction was, in fact, the key to the installation’s success. As visitors walked between the arcs, they could push and pull on the tubes to leave their mark, as if playing with a pin-impression toy on a massive scale. While the pavilion’s perfectly balanced, rigid wall frames were engineered to exacting forms, its myriad rolls carried beauty in their inconsistency.
Project Team: Ming Leung; Jiali Liu; Yueliu Hua.