Intertwined - co-producing space through dance and design

Barbara Chesi Intertwined.jpg

As my exploration of the LFA 2016 continues, this time I will talk about a slightly different kind of event, which left a vivid sensation in my mind and body.


Intertwined is a site-specific installation in the building site of the Courtyard House, a large family house in Kensington under extensive renovation. The installation is the result of a unique multidisciplinary approach bringing together dance, architecture and technology.


The project emerged from the mutual interest of architects Annarita Papeschi and Vincent Nowak (Flow Architecture) and dance performer Riccardo Buscarini to explore and interpret space in a novel transformative way. The installation can be seen as an interpretation of the space though the movement of the dancer, which is then represented by the network of elastic ropes that you encounter across the different levels of the building.


The architectural project itself has been developed through these explorative interactive practices. The performer interpreted an unfinished design with movement, creating new lines, shapes and volumes in a dance that in turn informed the architectural project. The scheme involves the reorganisation of the house around a new interior courtyard and includes the reconstruction of two external facades, a basement and a glazed extension towards the garden. The verticality of this place is enhanced through an oversize skylight bringing light across the levels of the building while new visual connections open up the space.


Technology was the third element that linked the two languages, dance and architecture. Caption motion techniques have been used to track Riccardo movements in the space and to reproduce it in a 3d movie, where information of his skeleton at each point in time were extracted and than represented in the physical presence of the ropes.


This installation is made for the public to experience the physicality of space and to embody the movement. Passing though the ropes across the building, one is challenged to recreate the original movements of Riccardo, curving, bending, sliding and lifting. Interacting in these series of movement-tasks I found myself dancing through the ropes, experiencing the embodiment of the space, and in a way, giving my own interpretation of this place.


Intertwined has been an exceptional opportunity to think of space in a different way. Dance is a powerful practice, which allows us to experience movement and create our own projection of space. In this sense, this installation, opened to the public, made possible for everyone to influence an architectural design. This co-production of space is something I’d like to experience further during this month - I believe that’s the beauty of the London Festival of Architecture 2016, where you can find a lot of different events on how we co-create this city!

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