Common Weathers New York, NY 2012

SOFTlab and The Living produced an installation and exhibition design for ReGeneration at the New York Hall of Science. The exhibtion includes ten individual pieces by various artists that explore immigration, urbanization, and sustainability through art, science and technology. Our brief was for the environment design to not only be a platform for the other installations, but to also be a work of art itself, to be included as the tenth artist installation.

The brief described New York City as an exothermic system that thrives on the infusion of energy through immigration and generates energy through ideas and knowledge. We found that it is not simply the infusion of various groups or energies into a system, but the mixing and tangencies of these energies that produce a “melting pot” of ideas. It is through this turbulence that a community forms and can be seen as a larger whole while still retaining the ability to distinguish the influence of a “finer grain,” much like a weather system. We treated the overall exhibition as one of these opportunities.

We inverted the typical exhibition design of white walls and subdivisions into a floating surface that not only marked the zones of each artist installation but connected them above through a funneled form. Each zone has a custom radius designed specifically for the artist’s installation, emphasizing the individual parts that make up the whole. The circular zones are non-directional implying that the influence of each piece exists in all directions. Each artist’s piece is both an isolated work and an dependent unit of the overall exhibition design, as seen through the minimal surface geometry used to construct the canopy above.