It doesn’t take a decade of experience in architecture to recognize architectural design talent. But an audience of largely fashion design students, some wielding pink notebooks, learned from industry professional Florian Idenburg why design talent applies to more than one medium. Idenburg talked about his style, career and the ever-evolving field of architecture in a lecture to help kick off the first day of SCAD Style 2012, April 16, at the SCAD Museum of Art.
The setting was appropriate. The newly designed SCAD Museum of Art reflected the very impressive architectural design aesthetic Idenburg has embodied in his own work; making it the perfect location to talk architecture.
Many students wondered before the lecture why an architect was speaking as part of SCAD Style. What does architecture have to do with style? Idenburg answered those questions.
Titled, “To Be Determined,” Idenburg’s lecture focused on the idea that architecture is constantly evolving. It is, as the title puts it, to be determined. An architect’s’ design and work is in a constant state of flux. It changes with the wants and needs of people as well as environment, an aspect that all areas of art, and style, for that matter, have in common: it’s never the same. Many of Idenburg’s designs, though physically beautiful, were equally stunning in metaphorical concept. Each design presented an idea or theme that was reflected through various areas of each project.
Idenburg’s “Pole Dance,” a “temporary environment” built in New York City in 2010 for The Museum of Modern Art and PS1′s Young Architects Program, was a series of interconnected poles and nets that allowed visitors to actively engage in altering the structure’s form. Human motion and movement, as well as natural forces like wind and rain, affected the structure’s equilibrium. Along with physical interaction, visitors were able to use an iPhone app to change the sound quality of the environment in real time. These design aspects allowed Idenburg to play with the idea of human and environment disconnection. What initially began as a sensory-charged space became an atmosphere that focused on the idea of people becoming more cautious and aware of caring for the environment.
Another temporary structure built in Beijing, China incorporated the environment in a more literal sense; by reflecting its surroundings through mirrors. The “Flockr” was a dome-shaped structure covered with thousands of tinted mirrors that move with the winds’ motion. This environment, just like “Pole Dance,” responded to its surrounding elements in appearance and movement.
After the lecture ended, it was clear why the school incorporated architecture into a week specifically devoted to style and fashion, and why Idenburg was just the man to answer everyone’s question. So, why architecture?
It’s the architect’s job is to “take design uncertainty out of the system,” said Idenburg, “to create the unimaginable and the scientifically impossible.” Both structures discussed posed challenges, but Idenburg stressed that it’s through these complications that we develop skills. The ideal transcends architecture and applies to all aspects of art. By pushing the limits of design, we ultimately challenge our own personal limits; we force ourselves to create “outside of the box,” and outside of our comfort zones.
Idenburg explained that his creations evolve and alter with their surroundings just as style does. And style, from a fashion standpoint, is constantly influenced by architectural design. Style is in everything. It cannot be categorized or sanctioned into one definition. We all embody a unique style in every facet of our lives that is unparalleled to any one else. There is one material all students can incorporate into projects: change. By accepting change into our everyday lives, we learn and grow as artists.Contact Katie Schliep.