The approach to the Onion Pinch project was through a desire to create a space having the capacity to transform the life in a subway station through its physicality. The goal was to identify a design concept and a very simple construction technique which would create an intimate relation between material properties and user's physicality.
The onion rings were realized with different cork types and thicknesses. Cork is very flexible. Flexibility means elasticity and vibration. Thanks to its flexibility, it was possible to shape the cork.
The installation was articulated in a series of internal paths in which babies could run, walk, climb, lay and rock. The tracks were articulated by the opening or closing of the profiles. The unique parameter, ‘position on the Z axis of the bolt’, affected another condition of the rings: the flexibility or level of vibration.
When the Onion installation was installed in the subway, it immediately became an urban toy. The presence of an extremely alive object, with its texture, with the oscillation of the Onion rings, transformed an unfamiliar, cold space like the subway station into a lively oasis.
Onion Pinch, commissioned by the design Biennal Experimenta a Babies and Adult Rest Station designed for the Cais du Sodre Lisbon Subway Station, has additionally been featured at the show Minimaousse 4 at the Paris Museum Cite’ de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine.
Team: T. Branquinho, L. Croce, M. Fassino, K. Seaman, M. Pianosi
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