This ephemeral architecture is the common ground between architecture and art.
Japanese designers Masakazu Shirane and Saya Miyazaki immerse visitors to ‘wink’ in a human-scale kaleidoscope, reflecting them within a maze of geometrically shaped mirrors. Set inside the confines of a 40-foot-long industrial shipping container, the installation unties both architecture and art, and intends to shift traditional structural concepts and ideas about the two disciplines. Not only an experiential creation, ‘wink’ is also an example of ‘zipper architecture’: all of the interior panels are connected by detachable cords, and each singular unit can be opened and closed like a window. ‘This idea could solve global environmental problems’ the designers describe ‘because it is easy to exchange only a part with a zipper.’
Visitors to the installation are enveloped in a complex maze of colour and light, constantly evolving and changing in physical property. Forming a close relationship with the viewer, the space allows for participation, permitting those who enter to interface with and move the reflective parts in various directions and angles. similarly to traditional Japanese housing — where mobile partitions can be relocated to accommodate privacy — the prototype achieves a sense of structural stability while opening up the possibilities of ephemeral and flexible spaces that invite freedom within the architectural field.
‘Wink’ has recently been the winner of a silver A’ design award winner in arts, crafts and ready-made design category, and more recently a CS design award.
This unique work was exhibited at the Kobe Biennial 2013 in Japan, designed to please the eye and meet easy-assembly requirements, zipping any of its components to the next one making a perfect art piece that changes as you walk inside of it, like a kaleidoscope.
The relationship between the structure itself and the visitors is quite close, since anyone can open or close any of its parts as if it was a window. The intention of this third prototype is to show anyone how architecture can be also lightweight and mobile.