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P04. Exhibition ‘Space, Time and University’
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Abstract

Compendium exhibition encapsulating 40 years of the University of Alicante. The commission consists of the curatorship and exhibition project, and of the design and creation of its documentary, graphic and audiovisual content as well.

Credits

Location Campus de San Vicente del Raspeig, University of Alicante (Spain)

Year 2019

Client University of Alicante

Co-authors ARN arquitectos

Managment David Devesa

Manufacturer Eventual SL

Photography Pep Sau

Type Exhibition

Status Built

Memory
Compendium exhibition encapsulating 40 years of the University of Alicante. The commission consists of the curatorship and exhibition project, and of the design and creation of its documentary, graphic and audiovisual content as well.

As the project is situated in the hall of the University of Alicante’s Rectory and General Services building (1997), designed by Álvaro Siza, the location of the exhibition is of particular importance for us. The project therefore constitutes an intervention that has a powerful connection with the building, respecting its space, its geometry, its material and its structure. An open dialogue.

THE EXHIBITION SYSTEM
The exhibition works to translate the intense and extensive academic and cultural activity that has taken place over 40 years, in a journey where every single piece of this profound university gear is reduced to the essentiality of a few suspended canvases.
The materiality chosen allows the exhibition to be light and weightless, in contrast to the density of the content. The translucent canvases , printed upon as needed and hung from the ceiling plane with nylon threads and a lightweight pine substructure cut by numerical control, create the different areas and organize the diverse content, designing the visitor's path.

AREAS AND CONTENT
The route winds through the exhibition’s different areas, delimited by circular shapes, and is always guided by an uninterrupted 325-foot long canvas that represents time and nature - with a chronology of the most important events in the University’s history and the progression of landscapes, open areas, plant spaces and sculptures throughout the campus’ open spaces.
Each section of the exhibition tells its story uniquely and in a manner all its own. Some spaces communicate in a more descriptive way (such as the one that graphically breaks down the institution into an enormous mind map), others in a more evocative way (like the space dedicated to contemporary architecture . In it, we transform the courtyard’s columns into an imaginary space, enveloped in a silence only interrupted by the poignant sound of Siza's voice, in the audio in which he gifted us his words. These pillars, standing erect in the cloister, synthesize and organize the mosaic of photos on the pavement); others convey their information more through emotion (with the compilation of historical photos depicting the University’s beginnings); some in a more documentary-style manner (like the space dedicated to the teaching and research staff , reflecting the group’s extensive work in a set of graphics, statistics and data); others more didactically (such as the immersive reality space 3D glasses called 'The humanization of space'); others communicate in a more informative way (like the one detailing the university’s international recognition ); others more visually (such as the space that refers to the former airfield of Rabassa and the future expansion of the "science park"). Finally, others’ expressions are more sensorial, notably the students' space, which, as the core of the exhibition, conveys the importance of the student body as a generator of university life and the source of a future social transformation that transcends the university itself. It’s the driving force and the main reason for the University's existence, with each face resembling tiny pixels in a cloud of 15,000 pieces hanging twice the height of Siza.

USE OF COLOR AND IMAGES
The white and ochre tones of the building serve as the color range for all the contents, together with the intense green -a symbol of the rich and varied nature of the San Vicente del Raspeig campus-. All the details of the exhibition are designed: signs, banners, and the leaflet.
The panoramic photographs that appear throughout the route were made with camera dollies on the campus paths and were worked to be able to be printed at the length of over 325 feet.

The exhibition had to allow for the normal operation of the building, which was intended for the University's administrative staff, and for set up and break-down during a weekend, the only time the building is closed to the public.


[Suspended veils that curve,
that fold.
That separate.
That cover.
That overlap.
That are backlit.
That darken.

That fade away.]

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