Unbearable lightness

This project, done while I was studying at Central St Martins, in London, was inspired by utopian, brutalist architecture.

Looking at places such as the Barbican center, I wondered about the original goal of the designers (Chamberlin, Powell and Le Bon), and the space and atmosphere they had indeed created. While being a highly efficient and inclusive space - the Barbican is home to artist studios, a performing art center, a library etc - an aura of heaviness and darkness glides on the complex. 

With this dress made of wool, cardboard and foam, I tried to render the atmosphere and the geometry characteristic of this environment. Making theses heavy cubes of foam stand up was a challenge and required working on the balance of the shapes and materials. 

Pictures taken at the Barbican Center, London, February 2019

PROCESS

Looking at the pictures of the Barbican, I decided to emphasise the squareness and toughness of the concrete.

I made cardboard boxes, that I tried placing in different positions and stabilising on the shoulder and the sleeve. After carefully labelling the boxes, I created matching patterns and attempted a toile in heavy muslin.

Noting that the thickness of the fabric wouldn't be enough to have the shapes stand up, I stuffed the final wool version with foam cubes of the right dimensions.

 

3D rendering for jewelry pieces I later 3D printed. They were based after the shapes of these art pieces seen in London's tube.

Sketchbook excerpt : a journey through utopian and dystopian architecture and through post-war memorial politics.