CUBE is delighted to showcase a new site specific commission by internationally acclaimed artist Nils Norman.
Norman has created a special installation that engages CUBE's main galleries in themes of utopia, play, public art and work. As a hybrid prototype for a future creative industries studio, the walk, crawl-through and climbable sculpture is inspired by the writing of nineteenth-century French utopian socialist Charles Fourier and doubles as a potential outdoor play structure for a public space in Manchester.
Charles Fourier dedicated his life to devising a systematic utopian society called âNew Harmony' in which he described its architecture, social organisation and economy. The special units in which these utopians would live are called Phalanstries large greenhouse-like pavilions housing a vast array of work related activities based on people's desires and enjoyment. People would be organised by their passionate attractions; daily work and pleasures would be arranged each evening in the Exchange. The ultimate goal of this system would be to satisfy rather than repress people's passions.
The installation at CUBE conceptually combines Fourier's ideas with Norman's own research into utopia, playscapes and creative industry workspaces. The structure is built loosely around Fourier's architectural vision for a group design workshop and combines this vision with the idea of a self-sustainable design office for adventure playgrounds, complete with hot-desking areas, a vermiculture paper shredder, mushroom logs, nap-zones and white-boarding brainstorming areas. There is also a small library of models as one would find in an architect's office of adventure playgrounds. Norman's prototype for a future workspace has the potential to be adapted to a real playground and public sculpture for outdoor use.
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