Sophia Chang installs stretchy fabric
tunnels through a gallery

| 3 comments
 

People could immerse themselves in a huge fabric cocoon at this interactive installation by architect and artist Sophia Chang (+ slideshow).

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

Sophia Chang stretched huge sheets of Lycra around frames to create the network of tunnels and enclosed spaces through the interior of the Invivia Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

The structure extended between different entrances and wrapped around the base of the gallery's spiral staircase. There were also a handful of openings, which framed windows to the spaces outside.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

"The softened geometries of this expansive fabric insertion frame both people and their context, while confounding the experience of interior and exterior, wall and room, hiding and revealing places to be found and explored," said Chang.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

The inside of the space was separated into two disconnected halves. Visitors could occupy either sides, meaning they could see the silhouettes of other people behind the dividing layer of fabric.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

According to the designer, the experience was intended to represent the feeling of being on the other side of a wall to something unknown - an area known as poché.

Suspense Immersive Fabric Installation by Sophia Chang_dezeen_13

"Here poché receives a more ambiguous reinterpretation," said Chang. "What could be understood as a wall or reminiscent space from one vantage point, becomes an inhabitable room from another."

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

Photography is by Anita Kan.

Here's a project description from Sophia Chang:


Suspense

Suspense is a recent architectural installation by Sophia Chang at the INVIVIA Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Allen Sayegh (co-founder of INVIVIA) and Ingeborg Rocker (co-founder of Rocker-Lange Architects) curated and sponsored the interactive installation, an unexpected fabric space that manipulates the architectural frame to blur the boundaries between inside and outside and piques the viewers' awareness of their bodies in space.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

The softened geometries of this expansive fabric insertion frame both people and their context, while confounding the experience of interior and exterior, wall and room; hiding and revealing places to be found and explored. Upon entering the piece, both occupant and environment are estranged, creating greater awareness of one's self, one's relation to others, and relationships to one's surroundings.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

The installation's curved rooms are made from Lycra fabric that is suspended between rectangular frames, which capture moments of the original context and pull them into the suspended space. Visitors occupy both sides of the frames, creating playful interaction between those enclosed within the fabric and those outside.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

Looking around, the smooth fabric surface breaks open to a view of an old stone wall, a glimpse of brick, a stair, or out to the street. The re-captured everyday appears distant and other.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

The installation is conceived as multiple layers of poché. The term commonly refers to the space within walls, here poché receives a more ambiguous reinterpretation: what could be understood as a wall or reminiscent space from one vantage point, becomes an inhabitable room from another. The complexity of the curved forms precludes immediate understanding of the total piece and allows for the visitor's perception of the space to shift as they continue to discover new places to sit, contemplate, walk, and watch within the gallery.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang

Neighbouring wall spaces are activated as people encounter each other through the fabric. The installation is an 'open work' (Umberto Eco) as it is not limited to a single reading or a predetermined range of readings but rather encourages multiple readings. With changes of light, occupation, and the flexing of the geometries, new realisations continuously become possible.

Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang
Floor plan - click for larger image
Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang
Cross section - click for larger image
Suspense immersive fabric installation by Sophia Chang
Long section - click for larger image
  • Incredule

    Not sure where the designer got the definition of “poché” from.

    1/ poché adj m
    a) se dit d’un aliment cuit dans un liquide bouillant
    b) qualifie un oeil meurtri ou gonflé

    2/ poché noun
    (architecture, uncountable) Areas of an architectural plan or section that are filled-in, often by cross-hatching or solid black, to show wall thicknesses, floor thicknesses and all other solid areas that intersect the plane of the section cut.

  • Incredule 2

    Cross between Antony Gormley (http://www.antonygormley.com/sculpture/chronology-item-view/id/2073/page/241#p1 ), Hadid and Arata Isozaki. Playful but fairly weak – IMO.

  • Jeroen van Lith

    This is just as “interactive” as an openable window.