Carmody Groarke — Beazley Designs of the Year at the Design Museum — London, UK
Award-winning architectural practice Carmody Groarke has designed the exhibition environment for Beazley Designs of the Year. It takes the shape of a sequence of sculptural cave-like forms, made from a sprayed paper pulp called Soundcel. The assertive materiality of the gallery was a response to the exhibition design brief, which specified a powerful spatial experience that would act as a strong counterpoint to the diversity of the nominated designs.
The existing gallery is completely abstracted into a series of amorphous spaces, blending continuously into one another. Rather than using conventional exhibition walls and plinths, the angled and curved spaces are covered entirely in the recycled newspaper material, smothering over the sculpted ledges and recesses that display the work. This is a very unusual application of Soundcel, which is usually spray-cannoned onto building construction and structures to provide insulation. Its textured surface provides a beautiful, monolithic and cast-like quality to the exhibition spaces and makes for a low-fi contrast to the innovation and technology of the exhibition content. Using a single material throughout gives a coherence and value to each piece of work as part of the overall show.