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Behind The Scenes Of Floorness

Ok, I admit it, I like carpet. I mean, I really like it. I would even go so far as define it as an interest. Rudolph Stingel is to blame. He’s that New York based artist who at the 1993 Venice Biennale glued a huge orange carpet to the wall and called it a painting.

It was a simple spatial shift that transformed my perception of carpet from “feels good under bare feet” to “someone call Rothko”. This year, Stingel’s exhaustingly carpeted every surface of Venice’s Palazzo Grassi. I mean every surface, ceiling, stairwell, sill. If these are paintings, then paintings are to be walked on and vacuumed.

As a designer I try to un-learn the world as much as I try to learn about it. This may seem like a one-step-forward, two-steps-back statement. But it is more like one-step-forward and a step-to-the-side. That cheeky side-step takes you to a new place.
A place where you see things from a new angle and do things in a different way.

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The installation, Floorness which I designed for Object Gallery worked with this way of seeing and doing. The invitation was to design an event space to be inhabited by sixty people during a broad range of events, each event with different spatial requirements.

During the design process I decided to explore what a floor could be. I studied the qualities of the parquetry and considered its flatness, rigidness and fixedness. I discovered something great about describing things as having a ‘ness’. It allows their meaning to flow.

This design process was about learning from the floor not about the floor. Kind of like having a conversation using matter and space as words. Through the process the floor plane became raised and rolled. Rubber underlay resolved itself as a finish surface and people sat their way through space, perching and lounging around the gallery.

Sarah Jamieson designed and installed Floorness in the Object Gallery, which is currently only open for events. See here for more details of when you can visit.

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