Friday, November 18, 2011

Day job, lectures and exhibition edition

Last night, my friend Aziza Chaouni spoke at FIU about the work her firm, Bureau E.A.S.T., has done in Morocco. She also gave our students a preview of the exhibition that will open this evening, Salon de B.E.A.S.T., as part of the Humanities Afternoon organized by FIU's African and African Diaspora Studies program.

Aziza and her Los Angeles-based partner, Takako Tajima, have tried to rethink the nature of architectural exhibitions. They've re-imagined the traditional Moroccan salon as an exhibition space, and have taken the exhibition materials off the walls - replacing them with catalogs - in order to create a space more conducive to discussion, rather than just personal contemplation. 
They re-conceived the exhibition hall as a social and leisure space which would provoke not only discourse and study, but also napping, dating and the whole range of academic activities.
We built the benches and tables out of wood shipping pallets donated by Whole Foods. Aziza sent cushions designed to work with the pallet benches and made in Morocco. Some of the benches have casters and are hinged to the stationary benches so that they swivel out and create areas for discussion (or card playing, or eating, or...).

Aziza at tin box, checking out the progress on the roof panel installation.

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