San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA Exhibition, Architecture, Architect, Project

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Exhibition, USA

Patterns of Speculation at SFMOMA design by J. MAYER H. Architects, Germany

Jan 9, 2009

SFMOMA Architecture Exhibition


From February 6 through July 7, 2009, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) features Patterns of Speculation: J. MAYER H., the first solo museum exhibition of work by the German architecture studio J. MAYER H.

Dupli.Casa Home
DupliCasa, Photo: David Franck

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Exhibition

Organized by the San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA) and Henry Urbach, SFMOMA’s Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, the exhibition is unorthodox in that it combines two approaches to showing architecture in a gallery: video documentation of the studio’s built work and an environment, designed by J. MAYER H., that presents the architect’s spatial language at full scale.

Central to the studio’s experimental approach is a deep engagement with a ubiquitous yet often ignored image type: data protection patterns, such as those found lining bank envelopes and shipping labels. These patterns—typically composed of numbers, letters, or logos—serve to conceal other information. Data protection patterns have become a fertile terrain for J. MAYER H. as the studio translates these patterns across media and scales to express its distinctive design language.

For Patterns of Speculation, J. MAYER H. designed an installation environment that combines applied supergraphic elements and seating units that contain video monitors and projectors, immersing viewers in a matrix of enlarged three-dimensional data patterns. Within this environment, animated data patterns are shown on monitors, while images of the studio’s built work are projected onto the gallery walls and ceiling. Finally, a sound environment has been developed by translating visual patterns into sonic ones, further surrounding the viewer with a thick cloud of “information mist.”

The exhibition is accompanied by the newly released book, J. MAYER H., edited by Henry Urbach and Cristina Steingräber. This volume is the first to present the entire oeuvre of J. MAYER H. and to consider how the studio’s research and built practice come together. A number of renowned authors—such as Andres Lepik, John Paul Ricco, Ilka and Andreas Ruby, Felicity D. Scott, Henry Urbach, and Philip Ursprung—take a variety of approaches toward positioning the firm’s work in contemporary discourse.

Mensa Karlsruhe
Mensa Karlsruhe, Photo: David Franck

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