For the inaugural edition of the Untitled art fair in San Francisco, the director wanted to create a distinctive identity and a space that encouraged wandering and even getting (briefly) lost. Situated within a vast abandoned factory, and using a minimal palette of 12’ high temporary partitions, our layout for this art fair creates a complex, multi-layered spatial experience that encourages curiosity while gently challenging perceptions of orientation.
The circulation plan is an elliptical perimeter loop, containing a central 5-pointed star. This circulation pattern creates a strategic ambivalence between the center (the star) and perimeter (the loop) which encourages fair goers to meander through the event, providing multiple route options at each intersection. This creates a spatial richness not typically associated with art fairs, which are usually structured by highly efficient display grids with limited spaces for relaxation at the edges. Further, each circulation path is set at a slightly different angle, with non-parallel edges.
This creates a casual, contingent feeling to the entire composition. Throughout the fair there is a dynamic interplay between the constantly shifting local spatial logic and the relentlessly consistent global grid of the factory shell. In this way, Untitled, San Francisco subverts the normative art fair grid in favor of a looser, more casual arrangement. Large programs such as lounges and video installations are hidden within the poche space resulting from this layout, creating an additional layer of complexity and surprise within the fair.