Syndicated from www.design-china.org
Presented during Beijing Design Week 2012 at the Dashila(b) Factory, Milkywave is a light installation composed of 1664 yoghurt jars; by Rolando Rodriguez-Leal and Natalia Wrzask of Aidia Studio, in collaboration with He You. The translucent jars form a quintessential part of Beijing hutong DNA and can be found in every corner shop, subway station and local square. We spoke to the designers to find out more.
What is the idea behind Milkywave? How did it come about?
Milkywave is part on an ongoing research project focused on reading the city through the objects and situations that inhabit it. Through the collection and cataloguing of these objects we rescue some of the principles of phenomenology understood as the recreation of urban experiences via the texture, shape and colour of materials. We then apply computational methods to reconstitute the objects into new entities, which lets us speculate new uses and purposes. In doing so, the objects are freed from their original function and attached associations.
How and why did you decide to get involved in BJDW 2012?
We think that BJDW is a great platform for defining agendas, testing theories and transgressing disciplines and boundaries. We are also thrilled to see how Dashilar has made such a comeback and how the life of the neighbourhood transformed and intensified during the duration of the event. We anticipate it will continue to make a positive impact and will help to promote an acupuncture approach to urban redevelopment in the hutongs.
What is your idea of “craft thinking” and how does your project relate to this theme?
Craft thinking is at the core of the Milkywave concept. Each of the 1664 glazed ceramic jars is slightly different as they are all handmade. The re-purposing opens up new life cycles and new possibilities for other trades as the ceramic jar mutates into a ceramic lantern.
What did you want to achieve with this installation? Do you think you were successful?
We are really amazed with the reception and the critics that the work has had so far: the installation has resonated at different levels with different people. Visitors embarked on a personal journey and shaped his/her own experience while walking up the stairwell. Then there was an act of appropriation as people tried to collect a portion of it through photographs from different angles.
What does the future hold for Milkywave?
We have been approached by different entities with offers for a permanent home for Milkywave. We are also considering turning the installation into an itinerary exhibition, which will focus on taking new audiences through an alternative experience of life in the hutongs.