2017 Inception Award | FACC – Fashion Art Cultural Centre

 

Heterotopia

This studio aimed to ‘inject “capital” into the typologies of a gallery and fashion show (‘culture’) by connecting them with a shopping mall in the Domain Car Park’ (Insausti 2017) and it posited the following provocation: ‘ When culture and art materialise into the contemporary city, we must not just ask ‘what art?” or ‘what culture?”, but also ‘what city?’ and ,crucially, ‘for whom?’ (ibid).

Based on Foucault’s iconic 1967 lecture ‘Of Other Spaces’, my design response stemmed from the notion of a space that links real and virtual worlds in a reinvention of the display of fashion as a research, production and display environment for existing HiTech fashion brand, ACRONYM. Using Acronym’s design philosophy to determine the appropriate materiality, atmospheric lighting and spatial configurations, an institute for tech-wear is formed that mediates the cultural and commercial faculties of the fashion industry, as well as the brand’s heritage of technological advancement. The resulting proposition is a space that encourages and facilitates the growth of tech-wear fashion brands by spatializing the virtual experience of the tech-wear philosophy using the medium of interior architecture.

 

This studio aimed to ‘inject “capital” into the typologies of a gallery and fashion show (‘culture’) by connecting them with a shopping mall in the Domain Car Park’ (Insausti 2017) and it posited the following provocation: ‘ When culture and art materialise into the contemporary city, we must not just ask ‘what art?” or ‘what culture?”, but also ‘what city?’ and ,crucially, ‘for whom?’ (ibid).
Based on Foucault’s iconic 1967 lecture ‘Of Other Spaces’, my design response stemmed from the notion of a space that links real and virtual worlds in a reinvention of the display of fashion as a research, production and display environment for existing HiTech fashion brand, ACRONYM.

TECH-WEAR
Berlin-based ‘tech-wear’ brand, Acronym, furnishes the traditional idea of the garment with advanced material and production techniques acquired through collaborations with adjacent fields such as military suppliers and researchers. While the brand prides itself on being functional within the everyday environment, it carries traces of both yesterday and tomorrow, with aesthetics often described as cyber-punk. Further, the brand’s interface with the retail market is almost entirely internet-based and offers no physical platform for the purchase of its products. Like Foucault’s concept of the heterotopia, Acronym clothing exists simultaneously within virtual and physical worlds, as well as overlays multiple periods of time in a single structure.

INSTITUTE FOR TECH-WEAR
Using Acronym’s design philosophy to determine the appropriate materiality, atmospheric lighting and spatial configurations, an institute for tech-wear is formed. An institute that mediates the cultural and commercial faculties of the fashion industry, as well as the brand’s heritage of technological advancement.
The Art Gallery of New South Wales (one of Sydney’s premier cultural institutions), and Pitt Street Mall (a significant retail and fashion centre) are linked by a 200-metre travellator departing from Hyde Park and arriving at the Domain Carpark. Within this context, the underutilised Domain Carpark spatializes a point of tension between the cultural and commercial realms of the city – an unembellished concrete structure fit to be reclothed as the city’s cultural centre for fashion.

The institute’s central promenade is cut into the layers of the existing carpark and lined with a large storefront that directs traffic from the city to a proposed train station connected to the Sydney City loop. Zones for market research and design development as well as the presentation of finished artefacts are composed as layers extending from the train station’s circulatory core. Walkways located above span large voids and connect glass-encased offices, workshops and classrooms resulting in a experience comparable to a CBD streetscape. The exposure of the space simultaneously connects the institute, the infrastructure, and the sedimentary layers of the site, as well as the designers, the public, and the economic market.

Cut into the centre of the promenade, a void exposes the fashion runway on the bottom level to public viewing and vitalizing natural lighting and climate, directly affecting the garment curation of shows. The recessed runway is surrounded by a large material research facility, and photography and media editing studio, as well as, a bar that caters to the promotional fashion shows. The resulting proposition is a space that encourages and facilitates the growth of tech-wear fashion brands by spatializing the virtual experience of the tech-wear philosophy using the medium of interior architecture.