Dezeen Magazine

Byplace by Giles Miller

Plywood layers create illusions of density for Byplace installation at London Design Festival

Designer Giles Miller worked with fabricator Aldworth James & Bond to create this plywood installation, which varies in density and transparency, depending on the viewing angle.

Titled Byplace, the installation provides a central meeting place for South East Makers Club, a London Design Festival showcase made up of several exhibitions and events, all produced by creatives from the capital's southeast.

Byplace by Giles Miller

Designer Giles Miller and Aldworth James & Bond – who are both based in Deptford – decided to team up on the structure, having wanted to work together on a collaborative project for months.

Situated at the peak of Deptford Market Yard's historic train carriage ramp, the installation features a series of screens made out of interlocking strips of birch plywood. The strips were all created using a CNC cutting machine, and each one comprises small circles connected along a central axis.

Byplace by Giles Miller

Timber strips on the top half of the screens are rotated 90 degrees, creating the illusion that one half is more dense than the other.

Miller told Dezeen the installation builds on his studio's interest in how materials can be composed to create different visual effects. Previous projects include a light-reflecting sculpture made from pennies and a shingle-covered pavilion.

He hopes Byplace will offer visitors a "variety of spacial experiences".

Byplace by Giles Miller

"We're trying to play around with the visual opacity of the structure itself," he explained. "From one perspective you might see a very lightweight bottom half and a very top-heavy mass of density on the top, and then from another perspective you might see the reverse of that".

Most of the structure is stained black, but the edges of the timber strips are left exposed to reveal the "duality of tone" in plywood.

Byplace by Giles Miller

"We needed to go for a colour that was slightly sensitive to its surroundings, aware of the people and the community that it's there for," added Nik James, managing director of Aldworth James & Bond.

"This isn't the place to stick a huge, neon, shiny thing, Deptford isn't about that – the installation is slightly raw, and true to its roots."

Byplace by Giles Miller

Other exhibitions and events taking place as part of South East Makers Club include a walking workshop by artist Inkpot & Pen, a pub quiz hosted by designer Sebastian Cox and a maker's market.

Photography is by Tom Donald.

Project credits:

Designers: Giles Miller Studio
Fabricators: Aldworth James & Bond
Supported by: Deptford Market Yard
Structural engineering: Shockledge
Material sponsors: DHH Timber