Gualala, CA. Smith|Allen participated in the Project 387 Residency, located in Mendocino Country from August 4-18, 2013. In the heart of a 150-acre redwood forest, the collaborative duo created a site responsive, 3D printed architectural installation: Echoviren. The project merges architecture, art and technology to explore the dialectic between man, machine and nature.
Spanning 10 x 10 x 8 feet, Echoviren is a translucent white enclosure, stark and artificial against the natural palette of reds and greens of the forest.
Walking around and within the structure, the viewer is immediately consumed by the juxtaposition, as well as uncanny similarity, of natural and unnatural: the large oculus, open floor, and porous surface framing the surrounding coastal landscape.
Echoviren is being fabricated, printed, and assembled on site by the designers. Through the use of architectural technologies and a battery of consumer grade Type A Machines desktop 3D printers, the duo will construct the world’s first 3D printed, full-scale architectural installation.
Entirely composed of 3D printed plant based bio-plastic, the constructed space will decompose naturally back into the forest in 30 to 50 years. A graft within the space of the forest, Echoviren is a space for contemplation of the landscape, of the natural, and our relationship with these constructs. It focuses on the essence of the forest not as a natural system, but as a palimpsest. The hybridized experience within the piece highlights the accumulated iterations of a site, hidden within contemporary landscapes. Echoviren exposes an ecosystem of dynamic natural and unnatural interventions: the interplay of man and nature moderated by technology over the centuries.
Smith|Allen merges an architect and designer with a sculpture and installation artist. The duo’s practice combines an interest in installation, material and dimension with architecture, computer modeling, and novel technologies. Smith|Allen focuses on work that is visually, conceptually and experientially engaging for the viewer. Bryan Allen received his Masters in Architecture from University of California at Berkeley, and has taught at UC Berkeley and San Jose State. He has exhibited at Wurster Hall, the Firehouse Collective, and Headquarters Gallery in Berkeley, and at numerous spaces in Salt Lake City, Utah. Stephanie Smith is a Bay Area artist who graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Art Practice Psychology. She has shown at Yerba Buena Gardens, the Worth Ryder Gallery, Headquarters Gallery, the Firehouse Collective and Café Local 123 in Berkeley. The duo lives and works in Oakland.
Project 387 is a multidisciplinary residency program launching its inaugural season August 4 – 18, 2013. Located in rural Mendocino Country, Project 387 has offered six artists an opportunity to develop their proposed projects in the quiet of giant redwoods. This year’s selected residents are: Bryan Allen and Stephanie Smith (Oakland CA), Rich Benjamin (Brooklyn NY), Claudia Bicen (San Francisco CA), Sean McFarland (San Francisco CA), and Robert Wechsler (Glendale CA).
Project 387 provides community-based living and working experience to artists in all career stages. The residency is a unique opportunity to dive into the creative process in a focused, exploratory and rigorous manner while removed from the clamor of urban distractions.