with Eley Kishimoto, Sarah Ichioka at LFA2008. London's Largest Living Room's curated by Gerrard O'Carroll. (completed 2008)
The Vistas project was for a number of pieces of exhibition furniture placed across London during June and July 2008. This project was part of the core programme for LFA2008. The exhibition furniture consists of plywood cut-out versions of a sofa, armchair, bookshelf and enormous lamps. These domestic objects are adorned with a pattern designed by Eley Kishimoto in the Festival's signature pink.
The first home of the furniture was all together in the Somerset House courtyard as part of London's Largest Living Room'sfor the launch of the festival. Jointly produced by Design for London and the London Festival of Architecture, and with creative direction by Gerrard O'Carroll, London's Largest Living Room invited members of the public to think about the city landscape as their home, and consider how we could better use the often neglected open spaces around us.
The second homes of the furniture were in various parks and public spaces across the capital where they stayed for the remainder of the festival before being adopted by a number of galleries, public spaces, and individuals.
The sofas also carried an exhibition of location-specific writing written by the teachers and students of the History, Theory, and Interpretation MA at London Metropolitan University. These nugget'sof information invited visitors to take a fresh look at the view around them as they take a seat in a big outdoor sofa or armchair. The texts ranged from a poem for Robert Milligan, a lament for the lost eyes of a stone lion in the British Museum, and a description of St Pancras International as a music hall diva!
The furniture was designed to resemble flat-pack versions of antique furniture. To achieve this, we thought of the components of the furniture: the back, front, seat, arms; as elevations and plans of the flamboyant furniture we were emulating.
We made use of CNC (computer numerical control) technology which allowed us to quickly and accurately cut the plywood out into its flat-pack components. Tabs, like those in toy models and doll's house furniture, were used to allow simple and precise assembly. The tabs also added to the playfulness and slightly odd sense of scale.
The furniture was made from 1525 x 3050 x 24mm thick birch plywood panels, and designed taking this size limit into account. This also ensured that the individual pieces were handleable as the furniture needed to be easy to assemble and disassemble as it traveled to its various locations.
The pink pattern was silk-screen printed directly onto the plywood which was then CNC routed into the component pieces. These pieces were treated with wood preserver to prevent rot and fungus, and finished with a clear varnish.