Rianna Holliss – BA (Hons) Architecture

“Being able to curate an architectural exhibition in a public building such as the Lighthouse is an amazing opportunity.”

All architecture functions as a potential stimulus for movement, real or imagined. A building is an incident to action, a stage for movement and interaction. It is one partner in a dialogue with the body.

Bloomer, K. and Moore, C. (1977). Body, Memory and Architecture. USA: Yale University.

“As one of the five curators for MAP 2014, the focus of my project was performativity and interactivity in architecture. Thinking about MAP and how music and architecture link in ways where they can interact with each other I came up with the idea of using cardboard as a construction material for my installation. When used appropriately, cardboard is a sound insulating material whilst also being recyclable. The cardboard used in MAP has been previously recycled and now therefore reused which follows the MAP ethos of utilising materials with minimal waste where possible.We also had to think of practicality when designing the exhibition, as everything would need to be transported easily to meet deadlines.

The cardboard tube idea came about whilst analysing the Lighthouse Gallery and noticing the big industrial ventilation ducting which runs along the top of the room. It was also informed by a previous architectural exhibition I visited called Sensing Spaces curated in 2014 by Kate Goodwin at the Royal Academy, London. One installation in this exhibition designed by West African architect Diebedo Francis Kere was inspiring as it allowed the public to interact and change the way the space felt inside by inserting coloured tubes into a structural frame.

The tubes were collected from various carpet stores around Bournemouth and Poole. Each four-meter long tube was then hand-cut down to precise lengths, and then sanded and finished to allow the structure to be made efficiently with clean edges. The first professional MAP Exhibition that we completed at TheGallery in AUB (July 2014) inspires the plan of the tubes for the Lighthouse exhibition where two dividing walls had created a separate space purely for 3D work. The two sides to the cardboard tube structure in the Lighthouse Gallery are designed to resemble these two dividing walls and enclosing a separate space for a more three dimensional experience.

The performance element of the MAP 2014 installation at the Lighthouse is shown through the models accurately when placed inside the tubular cardboard enclosure by enabling the lighting and casting of shadows, and also how the layering of the tubes can enhance the acoustic sound quality within the space itself. This became evident when the music from MAP Soundtracks by my fellow curator Joe Walker was played as part of the exhibition within the space created by the tubes whereby the full resolution and wide dynamic range of the 24bit/192kHz recording could be wholly appreciated from the tiniest pin-drop note to powerful crescendos.

At their most supernatural, interactive design environments can have a transformative effect. They take the visitor to somewhere else. By actively involving the public they are both ‘porous’ and ‘responsive’ beckoning us like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland to enter and participate in another world

Bullivant, L. (2007). Interactive Design Environments. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.