Founder of the award-winning practice, Reddymade, Suchi Reddy set up her practice with the intent of approaching design in a rather human manner, privileging emotionality while engaging with space. Sitting at the intersection of neuroscience and the arts, the architect’s research further guides her practice to delve deeper into the larger idea of ‘design justice’. She wishes “to expand our notions of empathy, equity, and agency—where the importance of design is recognized as an asset for the benefit of all, not just for some.” We’re in conversation with the award-winning architect as she lets us in on her recent installation piece, LOOK HERE, at the National Building Museum in Washington, amongst other things.
How would you define your practice?
My mantra is form follows feeling. I believe that architecture, environments, and experiences play an essential role in shaping an understanding of ourselves as humans with agency, equity, and empathy.
Break down the installation for us.
Bringing this ethos to LOOK HERE, I have designed an installation of reflective fractals that visitors encounter on an oval ramp that fills the Center Court of the Museum’s Great Hall. Oversized mirrored elements shaped like ‘fortune-tellers’, the folded paper playthings that have engaged kids for generations, hang from above. The reflection of the Museum’s interior, the movement of the elements, and the changing light as the sun passes through space will transform the Great Hall into a contemplative thought dynamic space during the day, and a disco at night.
As visitors make their way along the ramp, they will also encounter iconic images of activist gatherings in Washington, D.C. such as the 1963 March on Washington. This underscores the idea that Washington was designed, not only to house a democratic government, but also to be a physical representation of democratic ideals and beliefs. It also furthers the philosophy that buildings and landscapes impact how we feel and, in turn, shape our society.
What do you wish for the audience to take away from this installation?
As visitors experience the images of activism in LOOK HERE, it’s my hope that they will see themselves in the reflective surfaces, as part of these important moments in our history. At the peak of the ramp, visitors will encounter a round platform with padded seating where they can recline below a series of reflective elements, this time in the form of another familiar toy, the kaleidoscope. Yet, in lieu of colored beads and sequins, these nine-foot-long kaleidoscopes focus on and reflect the stunning architectural elements of the building including its eight massive Corinthian columns.
This article is an exclusive from our August EZ. Click here to get a copy.
Words Unnati Saini
Date August, 2023