Art and architecture have always been bedfellows but Chicago-based architect Jimenez Lai is blurring the lines even further in his latest exhibition and residency at the Architecture Foundation.
Upon entering the building, attention is immediately drawn to the three large white pieces of furniture with brightly coloured interiors. As the pieces are open on both sides they act like comic-book panels as doorways into another world, especially as they face the window so passers-by can see inside. Their curved design and bright fabric accentuate this sensation.
Lai tells us that he sees parallels between comic books and architecture. They are both visions that must be committed to paper. By gaining inspiration from comics, architecture can escape the normalcy and domesticity that it’s usually hamstrung by.
Along the walls are empty sheets of paper, in the shape of the furniture, that Lai will populate with creative interior design plans throughout his residency. He will be working on these every day until 8 July and is happy to talk to all visitors about his work.
Alongside these works, Lai has also published a graphic novel that explores his architectural visions.
The quirky furniture begs to be sat upon and is appealing to children and adults alike. This is an exhibition that explores a freer and imaginative approach to design with utilitarianism refreshingly relegated to secondary status.
Bureau Spectacular: Three Little Worlds is on at The Architecture Foundation, 148 Tooley Street, SE1 2TU until 25 August. Admission is free.