Design Pavilion was an annual staple of the May NYCxDesign festival. Debuting in Astor Place and then finding a home in Times Square, the always ambitions event staged large outdoor installations and programming equally accessible to the design community and the general public. The event returns post pandemic with a few installations coinciding with Archtober, NYC’s annual month dedicated to architecture.
Two of the installations occupy the Gansevoort plaza in the Meatpacking District for a week or so. Both show new ways of using wood to create visually distinctive structures. One is a woven bamboo canopy serving as a meeting place and lounge space. The other is an event space constructed of cross laminated timber. Both create some interesting shadow casts with the low autumn sun.
Photos and Intro Text: Dave Pinter
Project Descriptions: Design Pavilion
Bamboo Cloud – llLab
Bamboo Cloud focuses on the relationships between inherent material properties and their potential applications beyond convention. Traditionally, bamboo is applied on the scale of handcraft, yet now, it has been recently popularized as the most organic, sustainable construction material beyond its commonly applied fields.
The advantage of using bamboo has not been thoroughly understood, and thus to date, most applications have remained superficial. But the llLab. architects have boldly explored and investigated bamboo’s performance extremes to ensure optimal efficiency. During prototyping, bamboo strips, less than 1/4 inch thick and 1/4 inch wide, were used to test the threshold for lightweight construction. The process places particular emphasis on the unique material properties inspiring a wider range of construction applications in permanent architecture.
Woven through methods similar to basket weaving, Bamboo Cloud’s overall construction and creativity breaks with convention. Bamboo Cloud, will hover over the Pier’s promenade, a porous volume made of woven bamboo strips, naturally finding its form through resiliency of the material.
Public Display – Michael Bennett, Studio Kër
Artist and spacial designer Michael Bennett found inspiration in the profound interplay of materials and space. His exploration delved into the captivating world of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), a construction material used by Michael as an artistic medium that helped him combine the weight of mass, the lightness of space, and the poetry of connection.
Balanced to perfection, Public Display, relies on the qualities of CLT, in its strength and beauty, elevating the concept of “mass” to an art form. Tension arises when a weighty object occupies space, yet it instills a sense of peace and tranquility. The installation not only holds substance in form, it also evokes aspirations, dreams, and maybe the impossible; a spatial composition crafted to facilitate public gathering for connection and communication.
In pursuit of pure geometry and artistic expression, Public Display holds space for dialogue, stories of human experience, revelation, and introspection with a robust program of conversations focused on sustainability, repurposing, and the elimination of the world’s waste.