Harbourfront’s Breathtaking: Constructed Landscapes exhibition questioned the role of architecture in experiencing the natural world. Lenticular Curtain was our response – a moving and inhabitable architectural construction of a landscape. We wanted to explore a fusion of architecture and landscape that obliterates the threshold between the two, creating an immersive and surprising experience that infuses, inhabits, and amplifies the landscape.
The forest feels like a solid object, but then moves gently as visitors walk around it, casting multiple shadows on the floor. To enter it, you walk into the forest from anywhere on the outside, parting the trees like a bead curtain. The strips easily move aside, but with their weighted bottoms, they quickly return to position to maintain the integrity and surprise of the interior experience. Inside, a fabric wrapped log bench invites visitors to sit, positioning them accurately to the horizon that seems to stretch to infinity. The lenticular effect here is especially pronounced – so immersive that some people almost felt vertigo from the visual sense of depth. From the outside you could hear exclamations of surprise, drawing others in for the experience. The installation was not simply a constructed landscape object – it was a pair of spaces, demanding exploration by the viewer.
Lenticular Curtain was remounted at the University of Texas at Austin in October 2013 as part of the CURTAINS conference.