Nils Norman @Cube

The Installation specific to CUBE’s main galleries engages Utopia, Play, Public Art and Work.

By Lee Isherwood | 11 August 2011

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Nils Norman: ODE TO CHARLES FOURIER towards a Phalanstery for Manchester
9 July 2011 – 20 August 2011

The Installation specific to CUBE’s main galleries engages Utopia, Play, Public Art and Work. A walk and crawl-through climbable sculpture that will point towards a future studio for the creative industries, inspired by the writing of the Nineteenth Century French Utopian Socialist Charles Fourier  – doubling up as a potential outdoor play structure for a public space in Manchester.

Charles Fourier dedicated his  life to devising a detailed and systematic utopian society –  ‘New Harmony’ in which he described, in detail, its  architecture, social organisation and economy. The special units in which these utopians would live were called Phalanstries – large greenhouse like pavilions that would house a vast array of work related activities based on people’s desires and enjoyment. People were organised by Passionate Attractions, and daily work and pleasures were arranged each morning in the Exchange.

The installation at CUBE will conceptually combine Fourier’s ideas with Norman’s own research into utopia, playscapes and creative industry workspaces. Creating a hybrid prototype for a future workspace that will have the potential to be adapted to a real playground and public sculpture for outdoor use. The structure will be built loosely around what a Fourier type Group design workshop may look like in the future. Combined with the idea of a self-sustainable design office for adventure playgrounds and other playscapes ; hot-desking areas, a vermiculture paper shredder, mushroom logs,  nap-zones, white-boarding brain storming areas.

There will also be a small library of models – as one would find in an architect’s office – of Adventure Playgrounds.  Most of the installation will be climbable with crawling areas.