“Designers’ playground”: “RFP” wants you to slow down and look around

3sum landing port

We're slick these days. We search the Internet, talk on the phone, download music and watch TV — all while Facebooking, editing photos, TiVoing and e-mailing friends. But what about the residual mess building up in our psyches ... and landfills?

A group of young architects and designers respond to that notion in the exhibit 2010 RFP at Alios, a Downtown lighting firm/gallery. The show, on display March 5, focuses on artistic endeavors and personal projects, rather than traditional career work. Most of it deals with the detritus and fast pace of contemporary society.

It's both playful and serious. Alios owner Todd VonBaastians refers to the show as a "designers' playground" that combines art, architecture, furniture and industrial design. Some pieces ask viewers to engage in the world in front of them. Mandy Telleria's chandelier of recycled material hangs above a couch, requiring viewers to lay on the couch, look up and absorb the piece, as opposed to walking by passively.

The Details

2010 RFP
March 5, 6-9 p.m., free
Alios, 1217 S. Main St., 478-9636

Keith McCoy of the design collective Three Foot Ninja, addresses the disposable nature of the media age in an installation of old cell phones, cords, wires and broken computers, combined with video. Architectural designer Cliff Aracon's video installation explores the emotional and architectural disconnect of the suburban/urban centers of our master-planned communities.

Also featured: works by Mike Martin, theatrical designer for Stomp Out Loud; Robert Kilian, a partner of Arktura; Dwayne R. Eshenbaugh, owner of Novus Architecture; Brian Thornton, the architect and designer who founded DesignMINDS; and designer Alberto Frias.

Frias' work, "3sum," originated from his thesis at the University of New Mexico back in 2002, when he set out to create an experiential environment in a "pod" that immerses its guest in light, ambient sound and a calming tactile experience. From that project comes "3sum," a "landing port" designed to help you connect with your environment. The orb-like modernist-style fiberglass piece has three seats that cradle the sitters to create an almost visceral experience as they face outward.

The recession, Frias says, has served as a catalyst for designers and architects to venture off and explore these independent projects and new ideas. People are getting creative. "DesignMINDS, a think tank for designers, sprung up after the collapse of the economy as a way of getting people together and back to work."

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