by Dilpreet BhullarAug 09, 2021
A collection of white-origami installed in a tessellated Tetra sculpture on a boat, floating on the body of water, is a rare site of creativity. When the canopy is at a particular angle, the light enters through the interwoven forms to make a smooth descent onto the boat. The installation is one of the many works by the Inclume, a creative architectural design studio based in Cambridge — known to create works of a variety of scale informed by the cross-disciplinary approach. Inclume has brought together the essence of art and architecture to design exhibitions, installations and interiors.
Inclume, in conversation with STIR, talks about the design of Tetra that is based on the concept of an abstracted sail and can be seen as a re-imagining of a leisure boat. “Calculating how to support up to four people while remaining able to float was a key driver. The form of the buoyant structure then influenced the canopy above. We tried to use the minimal amount of supporting structure, which led us to using triangular forms, which historically are found across a variety of architectural structures," the studio mentions.
The light, integral to the works of the studio, accentuates awareness of the human senses to question space, form and materiality of the physical reality. For Inclume, light has several meanings, “Light is our creative thought process translated into architecture”. Exemplifying the same philosophy is the installation Stellar, installed in the cathedral of the English city of Lincoln. The perforated box of the installation, Stellar , creates a pattern for the audience to discover the unseen part of the cathedral. The light of the box interlaces with the darkness of the building to let the viewers experience the space like never before. “As people move around the sculpture the shadows transform, creating a playful and joyous interaction in an artificial ‘enclosure’”.
Another light installation, Power ,oversees the literal interpretation of the term ‘power’ into an ethereal, interactive visual experience. The diffused pinhole projection in the studio space is an attempt to juxtapose the beauty of the night sky with the hard-edged form of the physical piece. Without making a hard comment, the installation offers a comparison between the humans and the natural world. “This idea was a proposal for the RIBA Gallery space in 2019, in a more confined and controlled environment. The darkened room would be consumed with light projections to form an interactive connection to the audience, questioning light pollution in the city of London”.
Besides the component of light, the immersive experience around the artworks is pertinent to holistically draw the meaning of the installation, “Our installations take on a sense of escapism. When first viewed, our pieces are often a question of form and materiality from afar; only when experiencing the installation up close and becoming immersed in the object do viewers comprehend the spatial architecture that has been created. In a sense, the individual becomes part of the installation and this interaction becomes a key part of the proposal”.
Since Inclume works with large installations involving multiple materials, it is always of interest to have a peek into the ideation stage before the final artwork is opened for the public viewing. “Model making is a key part of our design process, inspiring moments of ingenuity and problem solving along the way. We analyse these and by doing so create a palette of materials based on a theme. This helps us interrogate how to make a structure elegant and avoid complex structural elements that may inhibit the appearance”. On the other side, the installations for the studio “are usually modular for several reasons. Firstly, transportation and the complexities involved with getting it to site. The second is space constraints within our studio; models, prototypes and material samples fill our working environment for inspiration, leaving us with little room to build large prototypes. Often these ‘limitations’ can evoke our creativity and problem-solving skills in new and exciting ways”.
“Complexity through simplicity” is crucial to the works which at the first hand, “takes the form of smaller, more simple components that when placed together harmonise and become a larger piece; a piece of art or architecture that takes on an alternate, greater meaning”.
The installations aimed to “provide a moment of interest and escapism” indeed thrive on the idea that the studio abides by “architecture is an experience”.