..........................Fly ToWeR......................................................................................................................................................................................


Fact sheet

CREDITS :
Benjamin Beller

PROJECT :
Forum Space // Installation

SITE :
Beijing// Dashilar // QuanYeChang

STATUS :
Built

SIZE : NA

COMMISSION :
Beijing Design Week 2014

BUDGET : 6000E/

PARNTERS :
"Making Futures" Plymouth's College of Arts, BJDW Dashilar, Stellar Works, Nicolas Godelet (Eng)

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BaO was invited by the Beijing Design Week to design and build an installation for the 2014 Dashilar BJDW pop-up forum space hosting a series of talks and lectures on the topic of "crafts". In an effort to question the nostalgia that too often accompany the debates on craftmenship and the associated assumption of a David vs Goliath clash between the traditional and the contemporary, we decided to propose an object that advocates a playful and enthusiatic view on current cultural production.

The “Fly Tower” is a direct response to the debate on craftsmanship and/or/vs mass production. A tower, the contemporary icon par excellence, is jammed right in the middle of a turn-of-century Guild House in historic Dashilar district. What has become the beacon of the industrial global society is here hovering above a space dedicated to a series of events and debates on the notion of crafts in the 21st century. The tension between the contemporary tower and its “art deco’ setting promotes a progressive, optimistic, and uninhibited cross-fertilization between the contemporary and the traditional, craftsmanship and industrialization, preservation and development. The tower rejects nostalgia and embraces the global and metropolitan conditions of heterogeneity as a valid starting point for the discussions on crafts, design, urbanization, and cultural development. The bright pink color of the artifact is a clin d’oeil to pop culture, an invite to the playful subversion of the symbols of mass-production. Pink is pop, pink is funky, pink is kinky!

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QuanYeChang is heavy -- The tower is lightweight
QuanYeChang is lavish -- The Tower is unpretentious
QuanYeChang is black and white -- The tower is vibrant
QuanYeChang is a monument -- The Tower is an event!





1 Tower / 3 programs
The tower acts as a “totem” proudly standing in the octagonal void and traversing all three floors of the building. The plinth of the tower is dedicated to a pop-up “Making Futures” and “crafts” library where the visitors are able to access, read and take away, publications on the issues discussed during the forum. The dismantlement of this library into a series of modular seats permits to entirely liberate the ground floor of the atrium and transform it into a space for events, lectures and discussions. During those gatherings, the tower acts as a vertical shaft providing the necessary technical support to the events underneath, the same way a “fly tower” would function above a theater stage. The upper body of the tower is used as a support for a vertical exhibition. Visitors ascend to the upper floors of the atrium and revolve around the tower in which a series of punctured “windows” display short movies and documentaries on crafts. Transversal shafts within the tower frame floor-to-floor oblique views of the building and the visitors themsleves while offering a surprising and pleasurable architectonic experience from underneath.