Viewpoints Commission for Festival of Thrift

 Cabinet of Curiosity Studio are amongst five artists who have been commissioned to create new work for an exciting and ambitious project focused on clean air and sustainable living in the Tees Valley. Viewpoints will include sculptures, installations and artworks displayed across the Tees Valley during the run up to the Festival of Thrift weekend. We will be creating an architectural installation 'Green House' that will showcase contemporary fabrication techniques using materials that reduce toxicity in the home and will contain a living environment of plants that possess the most effective air cleaning properties.

Victorian Wardian Case

Our Green House installation will be located within Darlington Market, a Victorian covered market designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse, designer of the Natural History Museum in London. The  design process for this commission has involved researching garden architecture of the Victorian era, with a focus on greenhouses, conservatories and wardian cases, some of which are decorative structures influenced by Eastern architecture, art and design.

Window in the Ise Katagami Museum in Japan that shows  a variety of katagami Japanese stencil patterns
Japanese katagami stencils, used within the printing process of creating textile patterns for kimonos, were a significant influence on the arts and crafts movement of the Victorian era. Victorians expressed these nature-inspired patterns through Western industrial innovations and materials, such as the cast iron architecture that typifies Victorian train stations and Darlington market. Laser cutting fabrication provides the opportunity to explore these patterns on an architectural scale using digital crafts and contemporary materials.

Thomas Heatherwick early design work: a pavilion using birch plywood for the structure

We were interested to discover that Thomas Heatherwick explored Victorian-era gazebos in his early design work. He was interested in applying the ideas and craftsmanship usually devoted to small objects to the larger scale of a building. He also wished to explore architectural forms that were compact enough to build himself before designing a pavilion that demonstrates how small scale architecture offers opportunities for designers to experiment with their techniques and materials.