As part of the big celebration that Xintiandi China organized for the Chinese New Year 2017, the renowned award-winning commercial area commissioned 100architects the design of the main installations on their popular retail street in downtown Shanghai. Xintiandi is a landmark not only for shopping, entertaining, leisure and lifestyle, but also for art display.
To celebrate the Year of the Rooster, the installations would have to highlight the Rooster’s character according to the Chinese Zodiac beliefs and tradition.
After researching past installations in Xintiandi, one thing became clear to us: it would not be an installation to be observed, it should be an installation to be used and enjoyed by the visitors, offering them the possibility to colonize the space and interact with it. A fun experience to be part of, rather than just watch it.
In order to achieve that, we morphed the proposal from a simple installation into a people’s attractor, catching the attention of visitors, as Roosters like to do, being the focus of the attention.
In 100 Architects, we have few research lines as strategies to intervene the public space. One of them is what we call “Painted Scapes”, a two-dimensional approach based on the idea of transforming the surface of a given cityscape; another one of them is “Object Plazas”, a three-dimensional approach, placing alienated objects onto a given cityscape to change its social dynamics.
In Xintiandi, seeking to maximize the visual impact, we decided to combine these 2 strategies displaying an installation in both, 2D patterns and 3D objects combined together, creating an illusion in which the 3D objects seem to arise from the 2D canvas.
The project was a vivid & colorful journey across detailed spaces resembling Chinese culture and the Year of the Rooster, building a unique experience that remained in visitors’ minds.
The installation was composed by:
- 2D Painted Scape: A colorful carpet invading a big part of Xintiandi Retail Street, featuring functions, activities, sugesting actions and games. It is also a splash of chinese patterns and intriguing symbology related to the year of the Rooster. It also included 5 directional arrows arising from typical chinese lanterns, pointing at the 5 “instant fuctions” provided in the 3D Object Plaza.
- 3D Object Plaza: An inhabitable architectural object inserted in the center of the main plaza. This architectural object acted as an accessible and multifunctional platform, allowing people to stand on top of it, sit down on it, lay down, etc.... It provided programmatic features that complement and enhance the surrounding environment. It became highly significant in the collective consciousness of the people around it, triggering social effects of fellowship and empathy.