Ephemeral, is a new publication from Barcelona based publishing house Monsa, which explores the latest design trends in architecture “understood as transformation”. Covering temporary exhibitions, advertising, events and shows, Miquel Abellàn selects projects from around the world which signify best practice in this field.
Ephemeral also features a collaborative project between Dublin-based architects abgc design and photographers Sean+Yvette for the Irish Blood Transfusion Service on its cover. We selected a number of projects which took our fancy and spoke to Miguel about the book.
Can you explain the idea behind ‘Ephemeral’?
Market forces and new habits encourage a change in the world of architecture, closer to nature and more temporary spaces where simplicity is primordial character.
Manifeste : Paprika were asked to produce an installation for Amherst Square, a small treeless area in Montreal’s Gay Village with lots of pedestrian traffic. ”We created an optical illusion. The letters were arranged in an anamorphic pattern that made them appear the same size only when viewed from a unique spot. At that point they also revealed themselves as a sentence”
How did you go about researching your selection?
I search internationally for projects that will come closer to an ephemeral, minimalist and a maximum relationship with nature architecture.
Are there any noticeable trends you’ve discovered?
I think the use of materials and the design of architecture, looking increasingly integrated into a natural area, closer and more functional.
Is there a particular project you’ve included which is a personal favourite?
I have several favourites such as “Fragile Shelter”, “Bricktopia”, “Daphne” and “Blood”, the latter two of which are more conceptual.
Blood (llation): abgc design worked with photographers Sean & Yvette and 150 volunteers on this project for the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. “For the shoot we prepared 2 drawings, which on the morning of the shoot we staked out into the sand with bamboo marking each umbrella location.”
The Monsoon Club: Serie Architects were invited to convert the Terrace Gallery at the Kennedy Centre into a live music performance venue and club for the duration of the Maximum India Festival. “To achieve this, we designed a three-dimensional carpet as a suspended ceiling. The patterns and colours of the suspended thread are borrowed from traditional ‘hurries’ and designed to look like an unravelling loom cascading from one end of the terrace gallery to the other.”
Bricktopia: By the architects of MAP13 in Barcelona, Bricktopia is a vaulted structure made of brick using a traditional construct
How important is being sympathetic to your surrounds in terms of creating such temporary structures?
Each project has different specific aspects, context, timing and functionality, all of which generate different creations.
Are there any rules or lessons for best practice in approaching the idea of creating something ‘ephemeral’?
Anything goes, if you want to be creative.
ion technique called thin-tile vault.
LEDscape by LIKEarchitects (Porto) : Aiming to introduce the everyday user to the Ledare light bulb, LEDscape challenges the passerby to an interactive experience – a pathway gradually lit with 1200 light spots, invites introspection and individual appropriation of the installation.
Some of these projects such as the abgc one shows that the simplicity of the idea can often triumph over resources and limitations. Have you noticed the significant of striking a balance between these two for maximum impact?
Often simplicity gives us value, along with a good idea, so it was feasible to establish a similarly ephemeral architecture.