2018 ROM Philip Beesley: Transforming Space

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 1:00:00 PM

Roloff Beny Gallery is the related immersive installation Philip Beesley: Transforming Space.

(ROM, ON, June 2018) - Can architecture feel, care, and respond? Can it start, in primitive ways, to come alive? Philip Beesley thinks so.
With a pioneering approach to structures and space that rests within the emerging field of responsive architecture, Philip Beesley: Transforming Space invites you to imagine and explore what architecture might look like in the future.

This installation merges chemistry, artificial intelligence and encompassing soundscapes from Philip Beesley and his collaborators in the Living Architecture Systems group to create a visually stunning, interactive environment that surrounds you like an enchanting artificial forest.

Hovering from above, delicate canopies and soaring clouds made up of lightweight meshes and 3D printed forms are embedded with responsive mechanisms and tiny microprocessors, creating an immersive structure that breathes, shifts, and even learns in relation to the people it surrounds.

Sharing a mutual fascination for materials and structures, Beesley and Iris van Herpen, one of today’s most original fashion designers, have influenced and contributed to one another’s work to push the boundaries of design and how we think about it.

Iris van Herpen’s Aeriform collection, presented during Paris Couture week, marked her tenth anniversary. To further contribute to its growing collection of Fashions & Textiles, the ROM commissioned an iconic, soon-to-be-realized piece from this latest collection.

“To me this dress is . . . an expression of the way Philip inspires me to rethink the relationship between our body and the space around us, to remodel the relation between our insides and our outsides.”
— Iris van Herpen

The Dome dress was inspired by air and designed with innovative materials to produce an intricate silhouette that floats around the body like a wondrous silver cloud. Made in collaboration with Philip Beesley, this incredibly light dress was created using delicate and voluminous laser-cut metal lace that was then hand-molded into three-dimensional domes. With nature as van Herpen’s other muse, the rose-like domes mimic bubbles of air reflecting light and billowing around the body, producing the airy, weightless movement of the Dome dress.

See this stunning design and special collaborative piece in the exhibition.

* * *