Architecture students are the "imagined" client for this temporary disco installation. Providing respite from the institutional production of architecture with a lightly hedonistic program, Silent Disco aims to support social and communal experiences. The architectural project here is not limited to the execution of a design and its special effects, but a framework to encourage visual, physical and social pleasure. The design of the structure is an overscaled, unfolded demi-dodecahedron model that contains a strong graphic interface.
"We are always interested in Southern California as both the site and subject of architecture and culture production," says founding Principal Barbara Bestor, a SCI-Arc alumnus (M.Arch ‘92) and the chair of the new Graduate School of Architecture at Woodbury University. "The Silent Disco for SCI-Arc is a nightlife, student-oriented component of our larger project-making architecture that enables people to interact and experience 'strange beauty' in their environments."
The installation's title, 'Silent Disco,' refers to both the less populated hours of the gallery–when the environment might be experienced by a student or two seeking relief from their computer screens–and to the space itself, when it is unplugged but still dancing.
While SCI-Arc maintains its position as the parent company of architectural radicalism, it needs continual challenging and questioning from within– from accepted modes of study, program and representation, to actual structures proposed, to the cultural relationship between students and the outside world. Bestor’s proposal is a modest attempt to re-consider the ingredients and accessibility of architectural experience and to address how the culture engages with the world itself on behalf of our students.
About Barbara Bestor Architecture:
Barbara Bestor, principal of Barbara Bestor Architecture, is known for a wide range of commercial and residential projects recognized for their warm, modern materials and colorful airy interiors. Bestor's architecture practice has included award-winning commercial spaces such as Intelligentsia Coffee in Silverlake and experimental houses in Venice, Silverlake, Santa Barbara and New York City. She graduated with a master's in architecture from SCI-Arc in 1992, and also holds a degree in visual and environmental studies from Harvard. She is a former professor at both of those institutions as well as UCLA.
Bestor's work has been exhibited in LA Project Space, the CCA Wattis Institute and the Whitney Biennial in Central Park, and it has been published in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Dwell, Elle, Brutus and Domino. She is currently the chair of the new Graduate School of Architecture at Woodbury University. Bestor is also the author of "Bohemian Modern, Living in Silverlake" (Harper Collins, 2006), dedicated to the informal and eccentric modernism found in Silverlake's architectural history.