Prickly Pear is an installation proposal for the work of Nicola Formichetti designed by Barker Freeman Design Office that proposes an immersive sensory environment with changing color tones that can correspond to changing music, body movement, or merchandise within the space. Our concept was to insert an enveloping volume of stretchy translucent netting that would capture and reflect the shifting light spectrum emitted from the system of custom LED fixtures. The lighting could be programmed on a pre-set script or it could be set to respond to environmental changes.

These fixtures are coupled to steel tension rods that attach to grommets in the fabric and to surface-mounted hooks fastened to the walls and ceiling of the existing space. More steel rods would be breakformed into u-shaped forms that would connect to the grommets inside the space to form hanging surfaces for merchandising.

Changing rooms are formed of smaller fabric pods that attach to the main volume through adjustable portals made from fabric gaskets. These spaces would have their lighting that can be programmed separately to indicate vacancy.

The form is inspired by the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, a plant that has its origins in the west but that has grown to become a staple of Mediterranean regions as well. The prickly pear is a source of inspiration and sustenance and celebrated in a wide range of cultures and in this way is a symbol of the global cross-pollination which inspires Nicola Formichetti, whose Italian-Japanese heritage has been a source of inspiration.

Project Team: Alexandra Barker, AIA LEED AP, Principal
Adrien Allred, Phuong Nguyen, Adam Jakubowski, Bridget Rice

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