Richard Johnson Design



RJD was asked to submit an exhibition design strategy for ZERO1. San Jose?s Biennial: Build Your Own World is Located in the heart of San Jose in an 80,000 sq.ft structure. The structure, South Hall, will be open for artists and designers to create projects for exhibition, performance, provocation, and interaction. From a marsh-as-electric-plane-landing-strip to a public orchard to artificial atmospherics to a public ?tech shop,? this innovative platform will build on the dynamic histories of garage hacking and citizen science.

Project Description:

Project Intro

The exhibition design should take direct cues from the premise of the brief, ?build your own world?. Promoting visitors and artist participants to build and alter the exhibition ?design? over the duration of the show. The physical and conceptual elements should become an active element in the design, engaging the visitor by promoting participation, building, and play as a form of exhibition/urban engagement. To do this, the design will need to be comprised of two major built elements, a series of landscape pieces and an interactive item made up of large number of ?furniture? objects or building blocks. While the Landscape elements would frame and claim space inside and outside the exhibition hall, the building blocks or building units would serve as the glue; giving the participants the ability to build, join and unify the interstitial landscape in a common way. This processes of social networking and building would further reinforce the nature of the exhibition. Allowing participants to re/claim south hall, the street and adjacent areas as new meeting or gathering between artists, their projects and the built environment.

Landscape System

The Landscape base plan is conceived as a single simple architectural move in response to the larger gesture of South Hall, specifically a slight shift or pivot in the existing floor plan. By reconsidering the existing plan with a subtle physical and perceptual move, were the interior and exterior start to flow together. I?m hoping to reinforce transitional space (interior to exterior) and a more subtitle system of circulation, organization and gathering. With in the new plan, are moments where smaller pavilion like areas seemingly unfold from the existing building. These plywood folded structures act as spatial armatures provide a contextual ?sense of place? within the greater South Hall. The exhibition as a whole then becomes a refuge to collect, process and frame potential new social experiences. Highlighting these new landscape elements as the new micro ?spatial events? which in term would re-define ones narrative along the course of the hall. Moreover, the exhibition design is used as player challenging and directing the flows of people and projects, ultimately reinforcing the continuous spectacle along the length of South Hall. The Exhibition landscape as a result, becomes a series of pinch points, nodes, nexus points, hubs, or concentrators in this fluid system, a database of the participant?s movement amongst the artists? projects.

Modular Building Systems-Objects

In the midst of the new landscape exists a sea of folded cardboard building blocks. Seen as a modular building system, the folded unit can not only stand on its own designed as a series of stools or chairs but simultaneously it can be easily joined to others creating even larger constructions. In other words the object becomes the conceptual and physical link for participants to join together and build their own environment. The kinds of experiences would be varied, allow for a multitude of connections to occur. The Modular Building Systems is designed for distribution over the duration of the show. Once in visitor?s hand, the cardboard unit can be removed, folded, carried and interacted with over the whole of south Hall. The unit can be used in a variety of ways, so as to serve a multitude of functions: seating, work surfaces, bar stools, etc. As a result, new gathering and real-time social networking occurs spontaneously with in these new ?landscape area? including, but not limited to: interactions between participants and artists, rest areas/lounges, theaters, conference tables, benches, information centers, etc. Some of the building blocks could be more ?fixed? in the landscape (10%) to serve more infrastructural/support functions: lighting, acoustic baffling, signage, outdoor seating, etc, then the rest of the objects (90%) could be ?movable?. As a tool, the Modular Building elements as a whole could perform by making metaphorical bridges, channels, stations, connections, intersections, and extensions linking and extending our understanding of this new topography. By allowing the exhibit elements to be used, moved and reconfigured the exhibition design would challenge its participants to rethink, community, urban space and infrastructure.

A New Landscape

While this New Landscape would redefined ones perception of South Hall. The unit or building block would help reinforce play and create structural systems that would dynamically stage new interconnections between interiors and exterior, making new flows of circulation apparent. By framing these existing and new qualities and by allowing the exhibition to take on the form of a laboratory dedicated to the production of social events. The Exhibition Hall once thought of, as static and desolate, would now be shaped by the artists as well as the movement and flow of the participants. The ?Exhibition Areas? would be the mechanism processing and channeling these flows as well as tracing and marking new paths and circulation. This new model of continuity and connectivity allows for a re-evaluation and both defines gathering nodes and networks that extent public space. More specifically, the exhibition build-out could become a new public forum highlighting the connection between user interface, digital tracking systems, and changes in the user groups? perception of the landscape. The structure would always be in flux, creating form out of formlessness.


80,000 sqft

ENTITY: Person 8 id: 8 last_modified: Tue Sep 20 20:16:54 UTC 2011 description: null name: Anton Willis date_created: Tue Sep 20 20:16:54 UTC 2011 creator: {User:1}

ENTITY: Person 17 id: 17 last_modified: Fri Dec 09 23:21:08 UTC 2011 description: null name: Jessica Kleinman date_created: Fri Dec 09 23:21:08 UTC 2011 creator: {User:1}

san jose,ca