Vito Acconci

Vito Acconci

 

Vito Acconci’s design & architecture comes from another direction, from backgrounds of writing & art. His poems in the late 60’s treated language as matter (words to look at rather than through) & the page as a field to travel over; his performances in the early 70’s helped shift art from object to interaction; later in the 70’s, his installations turned museums & galleries into interactions between spaces & people; in the early 80’s, his architectural-units were meant to be transformed by users. By the late 80’s his work crossed over & he formed Acconci Studio, a design firm that mixes poetry & geometry, computer-scripting & sentence-structure, narrative & biology, chemistry & social-science. The Studio uses computers to give form to thinking; they use forms to find ideas. They make not nodes so much as circulation-routes, they design time as much as space. Their design starts with clothing & ends with vehicles—in-between, they design buildings that slip into landscape & vice versa; they make spaces fluid, changeable & portable; they make architecture subservient to people & not vice versa—they anticipate cities on the move. Built since 2003 are, in Graz, a person-made island where the theater, a bowl, twists to become a playground on its way to becoming a dome, a restaurant; in Tokyo, a clothing store as soft as clothing; in Coney Island an elevated subway station façade that waves & bulges to make views & seats; in Toronto, a building-complex fence that twists & rises up the building to make wind-screens, & splits to make public-places. Being built now, in Indianapolis, is an interactive tunnel through a building where pedestrians & cyclists activate sensors that set off lights that swarm around them like fireflies.