Object & Thing

Designed by: Rafael de Cárdenas
For client: Object & Thing Floor area: 1550.00 M² Year of completion: 2019
Submitted for: Sustainability Award

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© Pernille Loof

About the Project

RDC/AAL’s design of the inaugural edition of Object & Thing, founded by Abby Bangser, represented a thoroughgoing reimagination of the traditional art and design fair. The design dispensed with the conventional infrastructure of such fairs wholesale: booths, etc., were altogether absent. Instead, the over 200 objects on display were placed together in a unified environment spanning the historic, 5,000-square-foot space of 99 Scott, a converted warehouse in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Furniture custom-designed by RDC/AAL was used for display throughout (complemented by pieces by Green River Project and food installation artist Laila Gohar). RDC/AAL’s furniture designs incorporated environmentally friendly materials — untreated plywood, cardboard sonotubes, and no fasteners — and simple modular forms enabling future reconfiguration and reuse. In another starkly unconventional gesture, the exhibition was exclusively naturally lit, which not only sumptuously enriched the experience by giving center stage to the play of sunlight, but minimized the fair’s carbon footprint.

Crucially, RDC/AAL’s presentation eliminated any hierarchical distinction between art and design. The fair was organized around naturally occurring dialogues between the objects on display, and in order to present them as they might be found within a domestic setting. The result was a fair of atypical and stimulating intimacies: between art and design, and between audience and objects.

What’s unique about it

Object & Thing placed an enormous emphasis on sustainability. The fair dispensed with artificial lighting, relying entirely on sunlight. It used a modular display apparatus constructed from environmentally friendly materials and designed for reconfiguration and reuse in future iterations of the fair. Object & Thing also provided a sales team, eliminating the need for galleries to fly in their own, featured an online store for international customers, and hosted a panel discussion on ecologically minded designed. The carbon footprints of art and design fairs are typically vast, as is the amount of waste they generate. Through Bangser and RDC/AAL’s combined vision, Object & Thing took critical steps toward establishing a more sustainable, less wasteful model.

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© Pernille Loof

Furniture in courtyard by Green River Projects

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Location of project:
Credits:
Rafael de Cárdenas

Object & Thing

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