Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting award-winning projects and ideas from this year's Core77 Design Awards 2012! For full details on the project, jury commenting and more information about the awards program, go to Core77DesignAwards.com
Infinite variety is an exhibition of a private collection of 651 red-and-white quilts, arrayed in such a way as to enable the public to experience the vibrancy of the quilts.
How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
We learned by watching the webcast. It was a great experience!
What's the latest news or development with your project?
There is a good chance that the entire exhibition will tour to some major U.S. cities beginning late 2013. We are about to begin a feasibility study in preparation for that. Additionally, Elizabeth Warren, the curator, will be completing a beautifully-illustrated catalogue of the collection, which has been in great demand since the exhibition opened. This should come out in 2013 as well, in time for the tour.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
Mrs. Rose has been an astonishing, wonderful presence throughout the process, from day one when we presented the original design proposal. She was completely unafraid to be enthusiastic, even joyful about the prospect of what we were showing her, and never wavered in her enthusiastic support of our work or the project as a whole. Self-effacing in a way that has grace and beauty, she proclaimed "This is wonderful. I love it. It's so good that it makes me look less like a crazy woman with too many quilts."
What was an "a-ha" moment from this project?
There were many, starting with the day that Sherri Wasserman in our office walked into a charrette session with a drawing of chairs in a circle, with quilts draped over them, and Bix Biederbeck, our materials specialist, opened a drawing of cardboard tubes suspended from steel cables. We put those two elements together and the exhibition became suddenly possible and meaningful. But the real ah-ha moment came when the doors opened and throngs of people began walking into the exhibition. They were walking slowly, faces upturned, with the wide-eyed, smiling expression we came to call "the look." People wept at the entrance. They experienced a kind of bliss that we hadn't dared hope for. Never before have I seen an exhbition we've designed--something so simple, to boot-- have such a powerful, affirming, emotional effect on so many people. It was and remains deeply moving, and humbling, because the effect is genuine, and larger than anything any of us actually did. If I understand it correctly, it expresses something of the myriad, anonymous women--mostly women--who made these quilts, some singly but most together with other women. Somehow the exuberance of the collection, rising to the sky, seems to evoke a spirit that everyone could feel.