Retail interior for Frenchologie || November 2013 - February 2014
Photographs © Andy Matthews

BAT Studio has created a striking interior for a temporary designer retail store in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.

Working to a limited budget, BAT Studio has designed an exciting retail space for Frenchologie, a French design retailer, using everyday, mass-produced, low-cost materials not usually associated with interior design. The result is a rich, highly textured space featuring a paper raffia ceiling and a forest of broomsticks.

The ceiling treatment, made up of 10km of hanging fire treated paper raffia - enough to stretch the length of the Eiffel Tower 29 times - is the most original and eye-catching feature of the design.

A tangled series of linear shadows are cast onto the surrounding walls by lights hanging down through the stalactite-esque ceiling, illuminating products for sale.

Bags and smaller accessories hang from the ceiling, amongst the dense raffia, adding to the other-worldly effect.

On the floor, a forest of 374 legs - made from humble broom handles - supports tables and shelves adding to the unique product display.

The clothes rails continue in the same palette of materials, connecting to the existing balustrade with broomsticks spanning between the grey Valchromat sheet material to create the double rail.

The design and unusual materials combine to create a visually arresting interior that delivers a truly unique retail experience in Covent Garden’s chic Seven Dials district.

The shop is open until 20th February 2014 at 38 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, London.

Exploded Axonometric

Axonometric of furntiure
Installation exhibited at Secret Garden Party || July 2013
Commissioned by Secret Arts

Expanding Horizons was designed in response to a superstition themed brief. It was commissioned by Secret Arts and was exhibited at Secret Garden Party 2013.

This playful and perception warping pavilion was a new and unique take on the classic “Hall of Mirrors” - however these contorted mirrors changed shape! By doing so they distorted, magnified and re-focused the festival goers and the environment around them. Sitting on a prominent and central ridge in the festival landscape, they literally provided an animated focal point!

BAT Studio has been undertaking research in developing animate mirrors this way for several years. Thin mirrored film is tensioned over an air tight chamber, air is then pumped into or out of the chamber to transform the mirror from convex to concave.

In this, our largest mirrored installation to date, each of the opposing mirrors was inflating and deflating on different rhythms. This caused their patterns to syncopate and for the multiple reflections in the “infinity” effect to move back and forth in mind boggling ways! This was very successful and created dynamic, mysterious and exciting spaces in between the mirrors.

There were many reactions to the piece. A common sight was people approaching the mirrors to check their appearance before suddenly realising the reflections were moving! Other festival goers would stare, or touch the film and further distort the reflections of them and their surroundings.

The mirrors offered an alternative perception of space around the installation and the surrounding festival, reflecting and reframing both the festival goers and their environment. The unique visual experience this offered had a range of affects on different observers, especially on the more enthusiastic visitors!

We hope that for many who experienced it, the installations created a sense of personal reflection by altering observers visual perception of themselves in the midst of the festival, or simply that people just enjoyed it!
Installation exhibited at Rogues Galleries || March 2013
Photographs © Andy Matthews

In response to a brief with the theme of historic professions, Heard Words creates a modern day scriveners' (scribes') office.

Sited in a disused shop, as visitors enter microphones are listening. When visitors speak, their words are transcribed by a series of machines dotted around the room. Every time someone speaks, the devices immediately reel out the words, printed onto streams of paper.

The space is fun to explore, with hundreds of previously (mis)transcribed snippets of spoken words to be read from the streams of paper. Over the course of the festival the room will become more and more full with the transcripts of the spoken words. Through doing so Heard Words creates a spatial and sculptural record of data collected from people who have been within the space.

Often very funny, the paper records seem to read as bizarre conversations or monologues, streams of consciousness that move fast between concepts and juxtaposed statements. One of these streams is digital and anyone can read the twitter feed of the transcribed Heard Words, from the installation in Chester, anywhere in the world. 

Visitors to the space often start conversations with the installation. They perceive the installations mis-perceptions as responses to their utterances. This informs their next words and they often ask the installation questions. Driven by the nuances and idiosyncrasies of the transcriptions, this interaction facilitates anthropomorphic perceptions by the visitors. Observers see meaning in the streams and responses, which is often very funny and surreal!

Heard Words also tweets what it transcribes. Below is a live feed from twitter of the (mis)heard utterances of people visiting the exhibition.

Photography || Andy Matthews
Exhibition information || Chester Performs
Village Green Festival | Southend, Essex
Commissioned by Metal Culture
working at Fleet Architects

The stage was designed as a fully demountable structure that could be errected within a few days. It's construction was of affordable off-the-shelf materials used to create an elegant and delightful structure. The transluency of the polycarbonate allows the stage to glow internally during the day as the sun beams through it and externally as LEDs pulse and change colour in tune with the music.

This project was shortlisted for the AJ Small Projects Award.

working at Jason Bruges Studio
Photographs © James Medcraft

Working with other members of the Jason Bruges Studio team, which include electronic engineers, industrial design engineers and software developers, David Di Duca project managed the delivery of Aerial Dynamics. The installation was the centre piece in the interior of the Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The project comprised 180 animatronic ‘nodes’ which were controlled by custom software and a bespoke power and data distribution system. Suspended from a 12m diameter truss within the pavilion ceiling, the installation was made up of over 20,000 LEDs, over 2 miles of cabling and thousands of bespoke aluminium components. Using Microsoft Kinect cameras to sense visitors behaviour, the nodes performed in synchronisation, expending and contracting whilst changing colour in response to observers below.

The artwork was experienced by over 5,000 people per day during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, during which the highly animated installation had a great impact on those who saw it and operated with excellent reliability.

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