diller scofidio + renfro constructs courtyard canopy in milan using 300 pairs of jeans
 

diller scofidio + renfro constructs courtyard canopy in milan using 300 pairs of jeans

 

for milan design week, new york studio diller scofidio + renfro has constructed a tensile canopy made out of 300 pairs of denim jeans. named ‘off the cuff’, the installation continues DS+R’s interest in ready-made models and experimental fabrication techniques. while the individual pairs of pants allude to the human scale in relation to the built environment, the meshed and twisted structure has been designed to evoke a sense of community and collective architecture.

diller scofidio renfro off the cuff
the canopy is made out of 300 pairs of denim jeans
image © rui teixeira (main image © designboom)

 

 

taking place in milan’s 5VIE design district, the fuorisalone event is presented within the courtyard of palazzo litta — a baroque building that dates back to 1761. the familiar use of denim, an everyman material, relates to the partially public nature of italian palazzo courtyards. ‘having two legs and one waist, they [the jeans] have an implicit structural logic. we started to see that we could combine these units, connecting their end points to construct a net-like tensile structure,’ explains liz diller of DS+R.

diller scofidio renfro off the cuff
the installation continues DS+R’s interest in ready-made models
image © rui teixeira

 

 

viewing the individuals pairs of jeans as ready-made components, the project — described as ‘contemporary folly’ — reinterprets the garments as an architectural module. by connecting the jeans waist-to-waist and cuff-to-cuff, a tensile catenary grid is created, spanning the courtyard. the net seeks to give the impression of ‘a body imprinted in space’, but also a body ‘defamiliarized by repetition’.

diller scofidio renfro off the cuff
the work occupies the courtyard of palazzo litta
image © rui teixeira

 

 

the only programmatic piece was that it had to be a roof of some sort — a little bit of protection,’ continued diller at the installation’s opening. ‘we have been screwing around with building materials and structural ideas for a long time, and, a while ago, we imagined using this very familiar unit of human scale in compression — but we never executed it. we thought maybe we can use this unit in tension and put it together in a more abstract way. it kind of jumps of off our duchampian starting point of starting with everyday objects and translating them to unfamiliar purposes.’

diller scofidio renfro off the cuff
the familiar use of denim relates to the partially public nature of italian courtyards
image © rui teixeira

diller scofidio renfro off the cuff
the design team took advantage of the garments’ implicit structural logic
image © designboom

diller scofidio renfro off the cuff
the individual units allude to the human scale in relation to the built environment
image © designboom

diller scofidio renfro off the cuff
the meshed and twisted structure has been designed to evoke a sense of community
image © designboom

diller scofidio renfro off the cuff
the installation takes place within milan’s 5VIE design district
image © designboom

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  • Brutal!

    Daniel Dos Santos
  • wonderful themed solution. it, seems that the cables and internal frame, etc. are the major support for this impressive design. I assume that 300 jeans will be thrown out after the events they are covering. i recall that students at Florida International University last year created a large opened canopy over a courtyard space using student collected plastic shopping bags. This self connected canopy of bags provided some shade, enclosure and no extra structure. After the events were over they were, easily sent to be recycled.

    profesdor harvey bernstein/ pratt institute

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