IIDEX, Special Delivery, September 2012

September is going to be busy. I am working with my good pals at the Toronto Design Offsite (TO DO) and IIDEX Canada on an exciting installation project. During the IIDEX Expo a small number of designers and artists have been asked to transform 18-wheeler trucks into a site-specific installations. Each artist is working with a different company and specific product to explore and exploit its properties and uses. I am working with Hewlett Packard and their Latex Printer technology which will print on any surface and is water based so it doesn’t off-gas.

In conceptualizing the project, I am drawn to exploring the inseparable relationship between architecture and emotion. The source of my project is very personal: images from my parent’s house, designed by my father in 1968. This Modernist masterpiece actualized brave new approaches to architecture and efficiency of form, but became, over time, as personal and idiosyncratic as any home. The house came to hold the mythology of our family, as every family home does. My parents recently sold the house after 40 years, and the story of the house, our house, is held only in the collective memory of my family. The new family is moving in, they are rebuilding it (respectfully) but, of course, bringing their own stories, aspirations and dreams to the building. Simply, it will never be the same.

As part of the process of letting go and an attempt to capture the unique spirit of the house, I documented the building, both with furniture and without and conducted numerous interviews with my parents, siblings, neighbours and family friends. I was not sure what I would do with the material and in fact was hesitating to do anything. When I began talking about this project with the curators I saw an opportunity to play with the materials, to construct a reality and space that would explore the emotional dimension of architecture. To create a work of art that will speak to people’s collective experience with home and memory even in a slightly unfamiliar Modernist context.

Here is the early description of the project from IIDEX and TODO:

Special Delivery is an exhibition which transforms 18-wheeler truck interiors into site-specific, immersive installations created by local designers, architects and artists responding to the mobile space of show trucks. Paired with a truck sponsor, each installation considers, is inspired by and/or incorporates the materials, processes or products of the vehicles they inhabit.

As part of a series of exciting events, these trucks installations “take to the streets” on September 21 and 22, travelling from the Direct Energy Centre to the Gladstone Hotel, introducing the work to a new audience and neighbourhood, sharing art and design with the city at large.

Special Delivery features artist Scott Eunson with Wilsonart International; artist Christina Zeidler with Hewlett Packard International; and design collective Fugitive Glue with Inspire.

This project is curated by Shaun Moore, Julie Nicholson, Jeremy Vandermeij and Deborah Wang of Toronto Design Offsite.

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