An exhibition installation that contrasts an expressive, modular timber superstructure, with a textural grotto-like interior.
WMB studio were commissioned to design FINSA UK’s stand for Surface Design Show 2019. The installation is part of a wider ongoing collaboration with FINSA that seeks to challenge the wasteful nature of single-use exhibition structures, and aims to provide highly re-usable, flexible, and useful objects afterwards. Designed around a 450mm timber cube module, the kit of parts approach allows for implementation at a range of scales from seating and furniture, through to small pavilions and buildings.
The approach at SDS was to create a simple cubic volume that maximised the permissible dimensions of the plot. The cubes are stacked, staggered, and rotated, expressing the structure as a permeable composition of individual cubes, in turn generating the geometry of the interior. In contrast to the exterior, the grotto-like interior displays angled sample materials for observation and interaction.
Real timber veneers are at low level, and intended to be touchable, whilst melamines are located further above. The upper level materials are only seen reflected in a mirrored ceiling, blurring the boundary between what appears real and what is reflected image and alters the perceived height of the interior.
Prior to the Surface Design Show iteration, the same kit of parts was used for an interiors show at the NEC in 2018. This configuration took the form of a sculptural, inhabited wall, and piazza. The wall essentially acted as a super-scaled, three-dimensional colour swatch, showcasing the wider melamine range in a spectral array, whilst the piazza became a place for visitors to sit, gather, and meet. Further configurations are planned for the coming year, after which the modules will be demounted to become benches, furniture, and smaller installations.