Confetti Urbanism reimagines the California College of the Arts Back Lot as a lively layering of architecture, furniture, plantings, and human activity. For three months, the 73,470-square-foot Back Lot presents the prototypes of Designing Material Innovation while continuing to support students engaged in design activities, making art, and hanging out. At once display venue, work yard, and social space, the Back Lot is equipped with shipping containers for storage, a material reuse center, a facilities management outpost, a welding station, and an Airstream trailer, as well as picnic tables, trees in planter boxes, trash cans, hammocks, and random debris. Rather than impose a singular order on these disparate operational and social infrastructures, Confetti Urbanism celebrates the diversity of the Back Lot’s many components. Strewing these components across the pavement as though they were tossed confetti creates a loose yet carefully studied frame for the prototypes on display. Painted discs, ribbons, bands, and shapes cue visitors to move, stand, and look in particular ways. Subtle tensions and alignments among Back Lot elements draw out the nuances in the five exhibited projects, animating the show through a pervasive back-and-forth between autonomy and engagement, environmental effects and graphic image, function and festivity.
Plural noun, singular confetto [kuh n-fet-oh; Italian kawn-fet-taw] 1. Small bits of material, usually colored paper, thrown or dropped from a height to enhance the gaiety of a festive event
2. A large quantity of small materials in which the relative space between the material itself produces a visual density with the effect of variegated flatness that is both literal and abstract
3. Temporary material "dropping’s" that encourage an alternative image of an existing public, institutional, or civic landscape (usually an open urban territory) as a virtue of partially obscuring the existing ground in partnership with a social or civic event
4. A simultaneously retrospective and projective event-based physical accumulation of large quantities of material on ground where more complex assemblies & assemblages have mingled, are mingling, and will mingle again
5. A non-hierarchical, organizationally informal material composition of a non-patterned, scattered arrangement that is neither collage nor Dada giving the appearance of fullness
6. Easily accommodates and enrolls new material additions along with a diversity of existing adjacent materials, objects, subjects, and “things” as constituents of the confetti mix
7. Encourages unforeseen affiliations between distinct entities with the effect of heightening attention toward them within an otherwise normative arrangement or proximity of known things
Project Data: Area: 73,466 sf
Exhibition Curator: Jonathan Massey
Exhibition Designer: Endemic / Clark Thenhaus
Project Coordinators: Clark Thenhaus, Sarah Lowe, Karina O'neill & Dustin Smith
In Partnership: Cemex Global R&D, Swissnex, California College of the Arts, Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning
Implementation: Dryco Construction, Martinson Sign Co., Charlene Tan with paint and templates by Missouri Turf Paint.
Pavilion Designers: T+E+A+M, Matter Design, Aptum, Matsys, Bouyant Ecologies.
Drone Photography: Mike Campos, Aerial Shotz
Subject Photography: Maggie Beasley