University At Buffalo Buffalo, NY

Project Details

Fabric 1

Producer: OTHER
Supplier: OTHER

Design Name
Virginia Melnyk

Design Company
Virginia Melnyk Designs

Fabrication Name
Virginia Melnyk

Fabrication Company
Virginia Melnyk Designs

Please describe the project specifications

5 fabric follies are stretched to fit and fill a room. Each a different color and growing in size. They are stellated and intended to reference star like geometries. Sewn out of spandex fabric. They are bright and tactile. Inviting visitors to enter inside each folly to be immersed and saturated in color. The follies fit tightly in the room allowing only a few feet of path between them forcing visitors to engage and meander between and around the follies. They are hung at a height to also force visitors to bend down to enter the folly, creating a clear barrier between interior and exterior of the space.

The colors are along the CMY pallet and transition from warm to cool colors across the room. The walls are covered in silver Mylar creating reflections of these colored follies to go beyond the objects and fill the room further. Inside visitors are immersed in strong color as light filters through the fabrics. Creating experiences of color therapy as moods can change depending prolonged on exposure to the different colors.

The follies are sewn with a serging sewing machine so that the edges can stretch and pull as they generate more hyperbolic forms forms as the fabric is stretched to attach to the walls and ceiling.

What was the purpose of this project? What did the client request?

The project was built for a temporary interactive art exhibition. That took place in October 2018 in an old School building. The client asked to fill a class room with an immersive experience.

What is unique or complex about the project?

The project had to fit with in a school room, and completely change the space. The project utilized several follies that were arranged to perfectly fit with in the space allowing a single path that was ADA accessible for wheelchair visitors. The other parts of the room required visitors to squeeze and duck between the elements forcing engagement with the follies. All visitors were also welcome to enter inside the follies to get a full color immersion experience.
Spandex fabric was used for its ability to stretch the challenge was to predict the exact stretching and form that the fabric would take on when actually hung in the space. Computer parametric programming was used to predict the flex and drape of the fabric so that the panels could all be fabricated off site and quickly hung before the event.

What were the results of the project?

The results created a unique experience where visitors were able to play and explore the new environment. Kids were excited and wanted to enter every color. While adults often picked one to take their time and experience deeply. The tactile nature of fabrics and the stretching of Spandex also allowed for visitors to want to push, pull and touch the follies. Which when the room was busy the follies themselves would be wiggling and dancing with all the interaction.

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