July 1, 2016

Kvadrat’s Booth in Milan Grew Out of a Drawing by Lyndon Neri

Photography by Pedro Pegenaute.

“I like the discipline of flatness. Flatness does not lie. Elevations do not distort. Perspectives, on the other hand, can hide a lot. They are deceiving in their beauty. It can be dangerous for architects to fall in love with a drawing and forget that they are creating space. When I sketch, I therefore go back and forth constantly between perspective and elevation.

If I am bored at a meeting—I don’t have patience for administration—I reach for my sketchbook and my felt-tip pen. Because drawing slows me down, it helps me to understand space. Drawing is a tool that forces me to consider if an idea is really right. Details emerge. Something that, in my head, is visually perfect can turn out to be ugly. When a sketch truly comes to life, it dictates the eventual solution.

Sketch courtesy of Lyndon Neri. 

For the Kvadrat booth at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, the challenge for Neri & Hu Design and Research Office was to make this particular textile manufacturer stand out while nevertheless keeping the space warm, even domestic. I sketched a big block and began to carve out openings, both for circulation and for three skylights. From a distance, the booth was a monumental object, while the exterior’s soft navy wool-viscose skin embodied Kvadrat’s DNA of texture and color. Then, when you entered, the scale changed immediately—from architectural to human.”

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