When asked to design a lounge for the re-opening of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Opening Gala, we were ecstatic! We saw it as an opportunity to collaborate with esteemed designers while visually expressing the same intention that we use in our unique design practice.
Seed of Life, a designedCOLLECTIVE installation, can be seen at the Exploratorium’s Opening Gala on April 12th, and is one of the featured interior design vignettes tied into the evening’s theme, “Now this is where things get interesting.” Our lounge will poetically “take root” in the heart of two halves of a majestic 330-year old Douglas Fir tree, surrounded by a section of its trunk and gigantic root system. The Douglas Fir “Tree Experience” is also a part of the installation at the Exploratorium placed in a 8,000-square foot space that will focus on the life sciences.
“The installation is a synthesis of art, creativity, science and technology creating a temporary environment. We decided to use these sectors as a way to explore connection to our world, both seen and unseen… Once we ‘drop in’ our perspective widens, and shifts!” — Paige Loczi
Michael Brown, lead designer for the Tree exhibit designed a space ‘aimed at creating an intimate, contemplative space.’ We chose to honor that with this installation, while integrating even more of a complex sensory experience by introducing the added layers of sound, the visual interpretation of sound, tactile sensation and smell to create a cohesive environment. In a recent article in the Marin Independent Journal, Brown explained, “When you’re between these two log halves, you’ll feel as if you’re sitting inside the tree, looking at the rings and the beautiful grain. It will reveal things that you might not normally pay attention to.”
Paige notes, “Our hope in highlighting the designedCOLLECTIVE aspect of this installation is to showcase the collaborative spirit of how we like to work. Environment can shift you, allow you to take pause and reflect the people or elements around you. It can remind you that you’re a part of bigger world, both seen and unseen. It’s a way of working whereby the ‘best’ is produced not because of competition, but through everyone offering up their area of expertise.” As such, we’ve enrolled quite a few designers and talents in their own right to create this installation.
Details of the Space
We have designed the Seed of Life as a lounge, offering two distinct spaces: LOUNGE and DWELL. Seating six people, the LOUNGE is conducive to banter, relaxing and eating in the open space. Surrounded by entrancing video with sacred geometry and and a wall of soil, the environment is layered with earth-toned glass, wood, soft wool and laser-cut metal.
Behind the roots, a screen will reflect the sounds from elements both seen and unseen…those as small as a cell and as large as the sun. It’s the kind of living room where time escapes. DWELL: seating six people, is a warmly lit, intimate space inside of trunk of the tree with low tactile objects, surrounded by wool fleece, metal, alpaca and leather, where one can imagine sipping Scotch in deep conversation. The space is designed to wrap the occupant in a cocoon of soft light.
Leslie Benson: An artist and a performer. She specializes in a sculptural technique of three dimensional paper weaving that she developed in 2008 while studying Studio Arts at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is a person of many varied artistic interests: sculpture, print-making, film acting, clowning, classical guitar, costume design and astrological studies are a hand full of the endeavors that have captured her creative spirits over the years.
Amber Bieg: An artist and entrepreneur. From developing mapping software that values ecosystem services to creating felt landscapes from locally sourced wool (above), she integrates a systems perspective, or 10,000-ft view. Amber believes that by studying and understanding these natural patterns, we can begin to integrate them into human-designed systems, using nature as the guide for sustainability. She suggests that when we bring awareness to the topography of natural systems we find patterns that teach us how live in harmony with all life.
Tom Clossey, Woodshanti: After studying anthropology and studio art in Ohio, Tom headed to San Francisco to see what the city had to offer. After a few attempts at life in the corporate world, Tom decided to go back to doing what he liked best, working and creating with his hands. Since founding Woodshanti in 1997, he has been refining his skills as a woodworker and exploring the limits of furniture design.
Coup d’Etat, Showroom: On the strength of owner Darin Geise’s impeccable sense of style, Coup d’Etat is one of the designer go-to galleries in San Francisco and has garnered the attention of interior designers nationwide. Darin’s furniture is normally vintage or beautifully crafted locally. It’s the perfect synthesis of exquisite craftsmanship and reference to the past.
Crooked Nest: As architect and artist, local San Francisco design team Candace Silvey and Elena Powditch approach their urban landscaping by creating dynamic gardens in unexpected places. Candace adds, “We view our installations as happenings. Ethereal — almost like a dance, or a performance piece. Plants are so in the moment and they force you to meditate on being present but also to imagine what the future holds. Our installation for the Exploratorium is a gesture towards the gorgeous tendrils of the root structure of the Douglass Fir. We are creating a series of our large-scale, hand blown glass terrariums alongside an installation of luscious ferns and bromeliads – all plants that would be deriving nutrients from a decomposing tree trunk. The glass, presented as a series of water droplets, represent a gesture towards the life-giving properties of water and if you look closely, you will observe entire symbiotic forest floor environments housed within – microcosms of the forest.”
Lorn Dittfeld, Propeller: Known as a delicious array of furniture and accessories built and offered by people who have a stake in your happiness. “We’re psyched to work with Paige and the LOCZI team on such a momentous SF cultural occasion as the opening of the new & improved Exploratorium. For Propeller it’s about creating a space that fosters an experience. Through the building of relationships – the collaboration with Paige and the other designers & artists involved and, ultimately (and intimately) with the folks who will interact with our creation is a slam-dunk!” Owner, Lorn Dittfeld.
Their web store is an, “exciting shopping experience that offers a sense of discovery that will introduce their admirers to new things.” We’ll be using an eclectic mix of their pieces, one of which is the Raimond LED pendant light fixture made by Mathematician Raimond Puts.
Ben Herod and James Davids, Oro En Paz Winery: The name, taken from the old San Francisco; its meaning is simply, gold in peace. These native San Franciscans share a passion for wine and love what they do. Oro En Paz in an urban winery located in San Francisco. Their hands on approach to wine making pushes them to be skilled in many facets of creativity including the welding project they collaborated on for this installation.
Sedonya Kay: A sculptor who’s works are made of found fragments of wood from collapsed buildings and structures. She seeks out and recovers the wood fragments locally in northern California. The fragments include native California species, such as Redwood and Douglas Fir. She has a passion for living things and the nature of her home state. Her work explores curved forms in wood that show evidence of the passage of time and that are simply beautiful.
Stefanie Ku: (also known as Kukie Matter, Cosmic Cupcake, s.L.k. and Silverslik) is a San Francisco-based intermedia artist. She divides her time between helping people achieve wellness through sound and vibrational healing, playing keyboards and synths in electronic rock band Beautiful Machines, and transmuting her visions from the dimensionless realm of pure thought into an accessible language, the audio-visual language of sound and light.
G. Magnus Schevene: A designer who’s specialty is custom fixture and furnishing design. His main sources of inspiration are the experience of the human body moving through space; the volumes of space created between real and imagined solid objects; and the ability of the mind to imagine shifts in scale, movement, and rotation. His furnishings exhibit a play of historical references played against simple, modern geometries. Magnus is a designer at LOCZIdesign and also produces work independently.
Karly Sue Smith: An Experiential Artist who teams up with small groups to produce large scale interactive art installations. Her most recent collaborations include Robert Bengtsons “Collective”( www.collective2011.com), “Flight” and “Memortrees” (www.memortrees.com). Each of which were engineered to align with Sacred Geometry bringing an added quality of harmony into the experience. “We’re interested in exploring how to showcase the sounds that are all around us, but sometimes below our register, showing how patterns in sound are replicated throughout life, displaying the geometric patterning in both the macro and micro world,” Paige adds. To this effect, we’ve teamed up with the talented programmers at CymaScope to feature the sights and sounds of stars within our solar system, the cells in our bodies and the vibrations from the center of the earth. We’re honored to showcase a video from a recent Smithsonian exhibit called “Star Sounds” among others. We’re also featuring videos from esteemed Bay Area artist Stephanie Ku.
For more information on the event, to purchase tickets to the after party, and a chance to see touch and smell the Seed of Life in person, click no further.