A2​ ​Form​ ​for​ ​environments​ ​in​ ​context:​ ​hybrid​ ​exhibit​ ​environments: Steps 2 + 3

Step​ ​2a​ ​-​ ​Individual​ ​(Who​ ​is​ ​the​ ​artist?) Select an artist that you saw at the Mattress Factory.

I am particularly attracted to her work because of how worldwide her infinity rooms are. Although each infinity room is unique in color, shapes, size, etc., I think it is amazing how people from Los Angeles to Tokyo can all experience a very similar feeling of infinity through her work. In particular, her work at the Mattress Factory uses a lot of polka dots and blue-ish green lights. When my group and I visited, we had to take off our shoes or wear cover slips. I really liked the one with the blue-ish green lights. It made me feel like I wasn’t standing on a particular plane and that I had entered a separate form of reality. There was also a notable threshold in entering the infinity room. The lights, mood, temperature, etc. immediately changed, and it was clear to me that I was in the work, whereas for most artwork you can just view it in the area it’s in.

(a) Research the artist’s life, work, philosophy, art movement, etc.

  • Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist and writer.
  • Born in Japan, 1929
  • Was not allowed to make art in her childhood. Her mother believed she should spend her time training to start a family.
  • Moved to United States (specifically New York), 1957 for artistic freedom!
  • Her art showed that she was obsessed with polka dots. This was due to her hallucinations (there’s no proven cause, but many speculate the hallucinations were a result of her father’s abuse).
  • She started out making canvases of colors + polka dots
  • She is most known for conceptual art that touch on the topics of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, etc.

(b) Note the key ideas the artist works to convey, and explore how they could be communicated.

I want the guests to be able to experience the lifelong journey of Yayoi Kusama that leads up to her work. I want the space to represent her life, and a final room/destination to represent her artwork, the culmination of her life. The space will be separated into different rooms. The first one will be narrow, dark, loud and cold, representing the frigid childhood she had. The next will have be open, light and colorful, representing her immigration to America. The final room will have one of her famous artworks (TBD).

Feedback: After speaking with Daphne and Peter, I have come to the conclusion that the step-by-step representation of her life might be too literal and that I should abstract it more. My next step is figuring out how to represent her life and work in a less literal way.

In this iteration, I created a structure of colored glass panels that will reflect light and projections around the room in a fragmented way. It will be a single/full-room experience. I want the projections and light to be fragmented so that there are multiple projections of each image, to represent her famous work with infinity rooms and “endless” images. The projections will portray colors, shapes and sounds that represent each stage in her life. For ex: dark colors, rigid shapes, loud sounds vs. bright colors, soft shapes, uplifting music.

Feedback: The glass structure (depending on where it’s placed) could be mistaken as Kusama’s own work. There is good improvement on abstract representation. “Own” the digital element if that is my focus.

Step​ ​2b​ ​-​ ​Individual​ ​(Moodboard) © Apart from images of the artist’s work, find images that could inspire the design of a physical space. Consider color, materials, typography. Look beyond graphic design to architecture, museums, playrooms, learning apps, interactive websites, etc. (deliverable)​

My moodboard includes…

Top left: Kusama’s famous pumpkin art, colors + an infinity room w/ a similar color palette

Bottom left: Kusama’s rudimentary art in NY. She would put polka dots on ordinary items, because she said her work felt like it deserved to go past the boundaries of her canvases. I want to include an interactive crowdsourced mural in my exhibit. Guests can place dots on a wall like she is doing in the picture.

Top right to bottom right: Transition of Kusama’s work with painted dots to digital experiences using lights and mirrors. Color palettes start experimenting with darker tones.

Link to more moodboard elements: https://www.pinterest.com/amberleespeaking/e-miller-gallery/

Architecture, museums, playrooms, learning apps, interactive websites, etc. inspiration highlights from Pinterest moodboard:

Heat or motion sensor floors that track where guests move and how long they stay at ea/ spot.

Glass panels that reflect images, lights, colors representing Kusama’s life stages.

Sit-down surround screen experience using projections.

Interesting space divider. Does not block space entirely, but serves as a barrier, visual break and traffic director.

Floor directions. I think these are too explicit though. I want the space to direct itself.

Outdoor signage for branding/advertising.

I like these dots. They remind me of Kusama’s infinity room lights and could be used on a touch screen.

Paneled touch screen; could save money (in comparison to a full screen).

Step​ ​3 Develop both 2D and 3D representations of the physical exhibition space you have to work with.

(a) Visit the client’s site within the the Miller Gallery and gather all relevant information about the physical space. Consider scale, lighting, materials, entrances/exits, etc..

In collaboration with my classmate Allissa: we were able to gather these measurements from the gallery…

The elevator is inconveniently located on the front wall. People who walk in cannot tell that there is a second floor. The flow of the floorplan is for people to enter and make a clockwise circle (which means that they will at no point be in direct contact with the elevator). For our purposes, there’s no need for the second floor to be used. The entrance and exit are the same doorway, which is not a problem because guests start and end at the same place (as directed by the middle divider).

Although I forgot to bring my camera with me, I found a couple shots online that represent my notes clearly.

This space is found behind the center divider. Although the middle cylindrical island was not there during my visit, I imagine that it directs people in a circular motion (clockwise) through this space, which makes sense since there is artwork on all four sides. I might utilize an island or centerpiece as well.

Flooring: The flooring was a dark tile, something I haven’t seen in other museums. I feel like it kind of detracts from the work because its material and color are so dominant.

The front desk has an operator (usually a student) and a small wooden piece that houses pamphlets and a donation box. I think this is a poor location for both. For one, there is not enough time for guests to browse the pamphlets and grab ones they’re interested in. In addition, why would people donate if they haven’t seen the museum yet?

Lighting: The lighting was hung from ceiling beams, and tactfully projected onto pieces of work (and the front desk). They are good as is.

(b) Accurately document the space using Adobe Illustrator, SketchUp and a physical model. (deliverable)​ Make an annotated online​ ​process​ ​page​ with the annotated plan and elevations drawn to 1”-1’-0” scale. Also create a physical model out of foamcore at 1”=1’-0” scale.

Original floor plan of gallery
SketchUp element: touch screen wall. This wall will be interactive and operates based off a motion sensor worn on the wrists of guests. When they wave their wrists over a specific trigger (the topics shown in the photo), it’ll take them to a new page with more information. It will also record which ones they’re interested in/waving over to send them the information after they leave. The post-visit text will serve as a reminder to visit the MF.
This wall will be a crowdsourced mural. Kusama has done an entire exhibit for guests to put their own polka dots up. This way, they get to experience Kusama’s obsession with polka dots + contribute to a mural.
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