Aberrant's ceiling installation celebrates wasting time at work

Aberrant's styrofoam ceiling installation celebrates wasting time at work

Visitors to an office-themed installation by Aberrant Architecture were invited to take a spin on an office chair below a ceiling suspended just 1.5 metres above the ground (+ movie).

Despite Efficiency at the Herbert Read Gallery by Aberrant Architecture

Aberrant Architecture worked with students from Canterbury School of Architecture to design an installation named Despite Efficiency for the university's Herbert Read Gallery.

Conceived as a "celebration of time wasting at work", the installation mimicked an open-plan office with an unnaturally low ceiling of styrofoam tiles held in a metal grid, supported by thin white columns.

Despite Efficiency at the Herbert Read Gallery by Aberrant Architecture

Anglepoise-style desk lamps were suspended around the edges to light the space, while a series of openings allowed visitors to pop their heads above parapet level to see a range of multi-media installations and "experience the naturally lit world above the suspended ceiling."

Despite Efficiency at the Herbert Read Gallery by Aberrant Architecture

"In a slight twist on the norm, this staple of offices the world over is positioned at shoulder height," said the architects.

"Hanging 1.5-metres off the floor, visitors to the exhibition are invited to take an information sheet from a filing cabinet, sit on an office chair and propel themselves underneath the ceiling into an artificially lit world."

Despite Efficiency at the Herbert Read Gallery by Aberrant Architecture

Video projections and laser-cut dioramas depicting office scenes installed above the styrofoam tiles offer clock-watchers something to fill their time.

Despite Efficiency at the Herbert Read Gallery by Aberrant Architecture

Binoculars chained to the openings provide close-up views of details on each of the laser-cut panels, which were made by participating students to explore the history of office design.

Despite Efficiency at the Herbert Read Gallery by Aberrant Architecture

"The exhibition, as well as the design concept, looks at the practical consequences and critical value of inefficiency in the context of work," said the architects, who have designed a number of non-permanent structures, including a roaming market stall and travelling theatre.

Despite Efficiency at the Herbert Read Gallery by Aberrant Architecture

"Inefficiency can be understood as an effort without reward; as the negative result of a system designed to produce a benefit, to be profitable," they said.

Despite Efficiency at the Herbert Read Gallery by Aberrant Architecture

Over its three-week duration in December 2014, the exhibition hosted a series of live performances and video installations presented by a programme of international artists "interested in situations and models of unprofitable, futile or ineffective work."

Despite Efficiency at the Herbert Read Gallery by Aberrant Architecture

Photography is by Simon Kennedy.