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Coachella 2022 Installations Explore Architecture, Pop Culture, and Communities of the World
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2022, an annual festival held in the Colorado Desert in Indio, California, has opened to the public on Friday April 15th with immersive installations by 11 international architects, artists, and designers. Through explorations of scale, light, sound, and colors, the contextual installations explore global themes such as connectedness, environmental sustainability, immigration, social behavior and architecture, pop culture, and the community, and will be on display on April 15-17 and April 22-24, 2022.
11 large-scale dynamic installations reimagine everyday objects and experiences as playful forms and spaces, using progressive approaches to light, structure, sound, and material, as well as responding to the unique topography and biodiversity of the desert. In addition to them being artistic explorations of global themes, the installations also serve as navigational markers and gathering points on the desert’s vast field.
Building on our art program with designers, architects and visual artists from around the world and from the Coachella Valley allows festival-goers to explore shared global interests and perspectives through the experience of ambitious and one-of-a-kind, large-scale installations. In the same way music is a universal language, the experience of these new spaces invites connectedness and adds an iconic sense of place in the spirit of the Festival. — Paul Clemente, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Art Program Manager
Read on to discover a selection of this year’s Coachella installations along with their descriptions.
Mutts by Oana Stănescu
“We can learn a lot from dogs: joy, lust for life, loyalty, unconditional affection and an endless capacity for interspecies love.” The New York–based Romanian architect designed massive recyclable canine sculptures, each in a typical position to create a dialog and inviting interaction with visitors, as they can touch the nose of the stretching dog, walk under the pointer, and rest on the paws of the sitting dog. The striking silhouettes are built with steel frames and filled with a variety of colorful plants, reducing the dogs to their minimal forms, and allowing their expressions to speak through their
contours and gestures.
Buoyed by Kiki Van Eijk
The Eindhoven, Netherlands–based designer created Buoyed with “great optimism for the future”. Three buoys, each about four storeys tall and angled as if they’re floating in a sea of grass, create a surreal and happy space for all visitors, with each including cultural references that emphasize diversity and inclusivity. The off-white buoy features butterfly wings spread from its shiny steeple that illuminate at night. The blue buoy combines an igloo form with a patchwork dome atop a Dutch-style windmill, and the green buoy features a 24-foot diameter base whose soft stucco rim allows for comfortable seating. The designer explains that “it’s about the journey we’re making together in life and at Coachella, when you’re at a festival for a few days, you’re in a bubble, making a journey. Everybody becomes one.”
Cocoon (BKF + H300) by Martín Huberman
The Argentina–based architect and designer created a nine-storey sculpture constructed with 300 reproductions of the iconic BKF, known worldwide as the “butterfly” chair. In 1940 three architects, Bonet, Kurchan and Ferrari, designed the original chair, which was added to MoMA’s permanent collection a year later, and became a popular culture icon shortly after that. Its structure, which includes a silky “skin” made of window shade-type material, offers shade during the day and illumination at night.
The Playground by Architensions
In a colorful gesture to bring urbanity to the desert, Architensions, the architectural design and research studio of Alessandro Orsini and Nick Roseboro, presents a vertical response to the single-story suburban sprawl in the Coachella Valley. Focused on human interaction with architecture, the module grid framework encompasses four towers, each ranging from 42 to 56 feet in height and a few linked by skybridges. Each tower features a variety of geometric forms, some with cyan, magenta, and yellow dichroic film that blend with the surroundings as the sun shines through them, and others mirrored to encourage people to interact with them.
Circular Dimensions x Microscape by Cristopher Cichocki
The five-storey-tall Circular Dimensions (Microscape), constructed with more than 25,000 feet of PVC tubes, presents a visual spectacle of the artist’s ongoing exploration of water and the history of the desert. The bandshell-shaped pavilion contains a laboratory where scientists and artists can generate experimental “video paintings” by manipulating water, salt, barnacles, and algae from the Salton Sea under microscopes, and project the activity in real time inside the pavilion’s “nucleus.”
La Guardiana by LosDos
La Guardiana hovers over the festival grounds wearing an enredo (skirt), a rebozo (shawl) to carry her child, a mask to conceal her identity, and horns to represent strength. The installation stands as the guardian of the immigrants from Mexico and around the globe. The iconography on her skirt includes people walking and traveling by train and boat toward the border wall, resembling the reasons behind making the dangerous journey to strange lands.
Along with the new artists and designers, several recurring participants have returned to the desert with new installations. UK-based art and design studio NEWSUBSTANCE returned to Coachella for the third year with Spectra, an installation that has won The Architect’s Newspaper 2018 Best of Design Award in the Lighting-Outdoor category, as well as a 2018 Gold prize from the International Design Awards. Other returning designers include Do LaB, the Los Angeles-based creative team which reimagined this year’s stage Warrior One as fantastical and interactive experiences inspired by human connection, authenticity, and environmental sustainability, artist Robert Bose, designer of the quarter-mile long kinetic Balloon Chain, Don Kennell, the New Mexico-based artist known for monumental animal sculptures, and after-school artists Raices Cultura from the City of Coachella, who are presenting their installation Blooming Culture.