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Ekin Erar and Imani Day: Translations

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Bibliowicz Family Gallery, Milstein Hall

Exhibition Description
Translations seeks to blur the lines between quilting techniques and architectural language through interpretations of three-dimensionality and common graphic references used across visual disciplines. Drawing on the architectural elements of the Bibliowicz Family Gallery, the geometric patterning of each quilt is used as a tool for both documenting and reimagining field conditions at 1:1 scale, highlighting columns, windows, outlets, and walls as architectural elements commonly overlooked or considered mundane. Throughout the exhibition, quilts respond directly to the gallery's specific spatial conditions, literally softening the rigidity and sterility of the concrete and white surfaces.

In addition to drawing cues from architecture as an existing field condition, Translations pays homage to quilting's domestic and communal role by not only displaying work as such, but by reinterpreting the gallery as an informal "living room" or activated social space. Beyond their utilitarian function in the home, quilts have often been understood to be an anchor for domestic life, for community building, and for craft. Traditional and, at times, experimental quilting techniques and patterns animate both form and mobile furniture, allowing visitors to physically reconfigure seating and wall elements as a form of an enlarged "piecing" to create collective, interactive spatial compositions.

Architecture Instructor Ekin Erar is a designer, maker, and educator. Born and raised in Istanbul, Erar has worked on projects in Europe and the Americas, and her work has been featured in the Venice and São Paulo Architecture Biennales, among other institutions, including Rice University, Cornell University, and Pratt Institute. Her interest lies in the making of architecture, through which she blends conventional material systems with experimental assembly techniques. Bridging the gap between manual and digital fabrication, Erar uses material research as an integral part of her design processes and challenges the ways architecture is translated from represented to real.

Design Teaching Fellow Imani Day is a licensed architect, writer, and founder of RVSN Studios. Originally from Montclair, New Jersey, she graduated from Cornell University's School of Architecture in 2011 and spent her early career in New York working with Robert Stern and Diller Scofidio. In 2015, Day moved to Detroit at the height of the city's bankruptcy to focus on community-oriented work, designing and building socially inclusive spaces across multiple different scales of impact. Her interests and advocacy efforts support the equitable evolution of under-resourced neighborhoods, the authenticity of culturally grounded spaces, and revising design processes to focus on tangible social progress. Day has previously taught with Florida A&M University and the University of Detroit Mercy and held an editorial fellowship with Columbia University's Avery Review.

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Tina DuBois


Tuesday, March 26, 5 p.m.

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