On January 31 Frances will be hosting a conversation called "Temporary Insanity!" at LACMA with Jenna Didier, co-founder of design laboratory Materials and Applications. The conversation will focus on designers who are producing a new kind of installation work that’s blurring the boundaries between art, architecture and installation. Recently at Materials and Applications and also at the architecture school SCI-Arc, young architects have created temporary structures, that bring to life shapes and forms imagined on the computer. They are often made by hand in fabric or new plastics and metals and function as purely sensual experiences, filtering the light or shape in an interesting way. One of the prominent designers in this realm is Benjamin Ball, who with Gaston Nogues, heads the firm Ball-Nogues. He speaks with Frances about why this type of work has become popular for young designers.
Outside the Santa Monica Place mall, Ball-Nogues' Cradle suspends hundreds of mirror-polished stainless steel orbs over pedestrians. Photo by Monica Nouwens
Currently on show at Materials & Applications is Bloom, a work by Doris Sung, Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter and Matthew Melnyk: a 20 foot tall shiny metal 'flower' whose skin of petals reacts to the heat of the sun. Photo by Scott Mayoral
In the parking lot of SCI-Arc, in downtown LA, Oyler Wu's Netscape uses 45,000 feet of linear rope to knit a canopy which was used for graduation ceremonies at the school. Photo courtesy Oyler Wu
Top image: Ball-Nogues' Yucca Crater is a temporary swimming pool built in the desert outside Joshua Tree, California. Photo by Scott Mayoral