MUSEUM FOR AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER
Location: Tokyo, Japan
This project delves deeply into issues of form + graphic, contextualized through a small design museum in Tokyo tailored for Japanese industrial designer Sori Yanagi. The design explorations centered on the rigorous manipulations of ellipsoidal geometry through scale, orientation, and intersection, bounded by rigid site perimeter. Through these techniques, light and space were modulated between soft and hard thresholds.
The museum’s monolithic, concrete exterior is contrasted by the unexpected under belly of an entry, and several façade openings that reveal the softness of the interior. Furthermore, the spatial and perceptual sequence becomes a binary experience of moving and inhabiting the interior and exterior surface of ellipsoids that make up the floors and ceilings of interior spaces, reinforced through the shifting materiality from exposed concrete to a white surface finish.
The tension between strict and playfulness, in addition to material and geometric transformations, attempts to reflect and celebrate the sculptural qualities found in Sori Yanagi’s own work.
The central question of the exploration was: how are form (3D) and the graphic (2D) engaged in a constant feedback loop? How can one give rise to the other, and vice versa? The traditional “Japanese Mon”, Sori Yanagi’s famous furniture pieces, and the “wabi-sabi” sensibilities of the Japanese aesthetic were among the precedents in initiating discourse and the design process.
The result was a geometric genealogy matrix that describes all source geometries used in the construction of the project, organized by the function of the surface. The idealized form of the ellipsoids are obscure to the user as its true boundary extends far beyond the exterior building envelop. The user instead must gain greater implicit understanding of the nature of the geometries as he proceeds through the spatial experience.
Within the project, articulating the boundary of a space takes on two possibilities: the first is an aperture with clearly defined edges, created through the direct intersection subtracting a smaller volume from a larger one. The second type is an intersection that requires an “invisible” third geometry that interrupts one surface while allowing the other to continue. The result creates a threshold that is has a soft transition between the occupiable and purely visual. The interplay between these types of thresholds creates a choreographed sequence of spaces that implicitly guide visitors as they spiral up the museum.