Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger: Antenna Design New York
3 March - 15 April 2006
This is the gallery's second solo exhibition with this prominent design team, who are known equally for their artistic practice as well as for their design work.
Initially introduced to the subject of public design through their work as industrial and interaction designers, Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger have been exploring new possibilities and perspectives of public space. This show presents a collection of recent works that are reflections on the various aspects of urban dynamics. Included in the exhibition are light installations, objects and prints.
Udagawa and Moeslinger have been collaborating as Antenna Design for almost ten years. Their focus is to make the experience of objects and environments more meaningful and exciting. Their projects range from public to commercial, from applied to exploratory. Among Udagawa's and Moeslinger's best known projects are the design of New York City subway cars and ticket vending machines, and interactive environments, such as Power Flower, a temporary installation in the windows of Bloomingdale's activated by passersby.
For Udagawa and Moeslinger the street is an important source of inspiration. "We love wandering through New York City, sometimes without any particular destination or reason. Streets are usually filled with people busy going about their routine or immersed in their own world. The city consists of psyches as much as materials. From an observer's point of view, it appears to be a kind of continuous theater with everyone being a performer. Every artifact that is inserted into public space will provoke an interaction, either between the artifact and people or amongst people mediated by the artifact. The interactions and artifacts shape the impression of the city and become part of the urban experience."
A series of prints show proposals for sidewalk interventions prompted by Udagawa's and Moeslinger's observations. The interventions, in the form of street furniture and fixtures, resonate with people's obscure yearnings and facilitate odd actions and temporary relations amongst strangers. Their presence in the particular context invites (inter)action and shifts the perception and experience of the various places. They pick up on current habits, give a new spin and encourage encounters. A reactive light installation reminds us that the spectacle created by the city, also enters the seemingly private space of our homes. As neighboring high-rise buildings bring light into our apartments, the designers propose to bring a high-rise into an apartment as a light source that reacts to the inhabitant.
Regarding their artistic practice, Antenna was part of a seven-part installation at Creative Time's Art at the Anchorage 2001, they presented "The Emperor's New Clothes" at Artists Space, New York, 2001, and "blowing gently…" at Frederieke Taylor Gallery, NY in 2002. Most recently they had an interactive installation titled, "Nosy Parker" at the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois. Antenna's work has won numerous awards, including recognition from I.D., Business Week, and Wired magazines. In 2003 Antenna was a finalist for the National Design Award in Product Design from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Two of their latest projects were recently exhibited at MoMA's "SAFE: Design Takes On Risk" exhibition. In December, Forbes picked Udagawa and Moeslinger as one of the ten most influential industrial designers.