An urban architectural installation rises and reflects in New York
For New York Design Week, Mini’s innovative creative space A/D/O are hosting an architectural installation by London-based United Visual Artists. Spirit of the City taps into the way we interact with urban environments, allowing a humbling reflective moment during the bustle of design week.
‘Our goal was to create a simple, yet transformative experience that metaphorically and physically reflects the surroundings of A/D/O and New York City at large,’ explains Matt Clark, founder of UVA. Mirroring, quite literally, the changing nature of metropolitan locations, the 9ft high modular columns loom large while revolving for an enveloping experience. These rotations were not chosen random, the movement patterns are based on research from human activity in the city to create a 24-hour algorithm that alters from tranquil to urgent.
While wandering around the colossal totems, visitors can notice this kinetic energy reflected onto the ground in subtle shadows that produce a poetic web of lines. On the surface of the columns too, perspectives vary from calm sky blues to the raw industrial surrounds of the creative cove.
Spirit of the City by United Visual Artists at A/D/O
Founded in 2003, art practice UVA explore technology in their pieces that often transcend physical existence. Previous works have been hosted across the globe at institutions including the Victoria and Albert Museum and YCAM, Japan. ‘Ultimately, Spirit of the City intends to pose the question, do our activities define our urban landscapes or do our urban landscapes define us?’ Clark muses.
When A/D/O first opened last year inside a converted warehouse in Brooklyn, the space spanned design-led retail to bars and restaurants exemplifying Mini’s ongoing design agenda. ‘At Mini we believe that design can tip the scales towards a more humane world,’ explains Esther Bahne, Mini’s head of brand strategy and business innovation. A/D/O inaugurated with Design Academy, a three-day festival for professional designers to explore cultural topics, and a year on, Spirit of the City marks it’s first significant showcase for NYCxDesign, and it will remain risen until 2 September.