- Dreams-Chasing showroom by AD ARCHITECTURE, Shantou, China
The Chinese firm AD ARCHITECTURE directed by the architect, Xie Peihe has crafted a space in a shopping mall in Shantou, Guandong province, southern China that we could almost call virtual and dreamy rather than real, precisely due to what the showroom is actually designed for. Because we're talking about the display of furniture and mattresses in a very narrow, rectangular area that follows the layout of the shopping mall, with columns and windows evenly spaced along the north and south walls.
A design challenge that AD ARCHITECTURE, established in 2015 took up with great elegance, basing their work on an approach that is rooted in emotional design with the desire to create projects that enable people to enjoy different experiences at different times.
To actually bring to life the idea of dreams in a context so restricted by the contingencies of the original architecture, the designers explored the different meanings of the display area, and in the end went with the concept of “taking objects as reality, space as virtual, and dreams as the world”.
To underscore the fact that narratives in the virtual state cannot be presented in the order of events, just like what happens on the web, the designers opted to not turn the showroom into a single linear space form. They opened up the non-bearing partition walls to deconstruct and reconstruct the original space, in its place creating spaces with fluid shapes and different interconnections by using geometric elements that divide the area into different but connecting rooms, while the actual boundaries of the real space are blurred.
The resulting sequence is a bit like an old maze, with mysterious, surreal places where visitors are taken into a world with a merged idea of dream and reality thanks to the design solutions proposed by AD ARCHITECTURE. The space ends up being not just a display area but becomes an atmosphere that generates subjective experience and memory.
Objects, though, really can be seen, as they form strong counterpoints to this dreamlike place: a human statue, a red spinning top whose constant, hypnotic movement takes your mind into an almost trance-like state, to prepare it for this off-beat adventure, as you can clearly understand from the video made by the architects.
Dreams-Chasing, Life & Art Showroom showcases eye-catching and emotionally moving interior design, a design programme that moves between emotions, sensations and perceptions where the borderline between the real world and the virtual line is so blurred it is almost imperceptible. Not only that but there are no digital tricks to this effect, it is all done analogically.
Chief designer: XIE Peihe
Design team: AD ARCHITECTURE
Construction team: AD CONSTRUCTION
Project location: Shantou, Guangdong, China
Building area: 480 m2
Year: December, 2018
Photographer: Ouyang Yun