New York-based design studio Studio Lin focus on creating a visual language that is thoroughly researched and easily assimilated. The studio’s specific thinking was put into practice for the studio’s recent exhibition design at Princeton University School of Architecture by MOS Architects: 44 Low-resolution Houses.
Adhering to this accessible concept, 44 Low-resolution Houses exhibits 44 houses by 44 architecture offices. The show explores the cultural phenomenon around the idea of a house, both as an existentially significant symbol and an increasingly desirable design object. “The house is a receptacle for identity and technology, similar to our phones,” claims Michael Meredith, the curator of the exhibition. The show is designed so that the housing models appear to be floating within the space to encourage comparable thoughts when viewing the houses. “For better or worse, each house is treated like an untethered object or image, which is how we experience most architecture anyway,” continues the curator.
Alex Lin, founder of Studio Lin, explains that the studio’s design enhances the floating spatial experience that Michael intended as rippling black curtains cover the three walls of the venue adorned with stark white type. The backdrop of the curtains amplifies the houses suspended viewing effect, and the warped type listing the details of the 44 houses disrupts the physical spatial experience of the exhibition.
The type was ironed on the curtains manually, taking two to three days of continuous work and completed on a room-sized table. For the designers, the main difficulty of the task lay in the accuracy of scale. “The scale had to be exact in order for the type to fit onto the curtains as well as cover the walls,” says Alex. “To add to this difficulty, we had to figure out how much the curtains had to be gathered in order for the type to remain legible.” For a design team which is more familiar with the creation of books and smaller print items, the scale of exhibition design involves working methods that are more foreign to the studio. The founding designer explains: “We are often sourcing materials that we don’t know much about such as bolts of black curtain material and type that can be ironed on.”
Additionally, Studio Lin’s book design, that accompanies the exhibition of the same name, compliments the monochromatic visuals of the exhibition. The book focuses on the theoretical concept of the house and its written content investigates the architectural and social nature of housing; the house being at the very centre of phenomenological questioning. In other words, our firsthand experiences of our houses undeniably inform our everyday structures of consciousness.
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