Elena Manferdini’s installation explores the intricacies of lace at a scale far beyond
the intimate size commonly associated with the material. Made by the knotting and intertwining
of multiple threads, the dynamic dance of lacemaking is brought to the scale of the
SCI-Arc Gallery. The antique Venetian Merletti, the Italian term for lace, are the
crenellations that create a complex interface at the top of defensive buildings.
This technique became an inspiration to Manferdini, the Los Angeles-based Italian architect; her project, which weaves itself along catenary supporting wires hung from above, engages the viewer at an intimate scale as the installation billows up through the space. Walking in the gallery, the viewer can appreciate the detail of each element that constitutes the overall form and the shadows cast on the floor. But the work best reveals itself—a surface that alternates between the two- and the three-dimensional—from the view from the catwalk above the Gallery, where the viewer is able to appreciate the entire interwoven, lace-like structure.
Elena Manferdini graduated from the University of Civil Engineering (Bologna, Italy) and later from University of California Los Angeles (Master of Architecture and Urban Design). Last year she was awarded her European Professional Engineering license.
In 2003 Elena Manferdini funded Atelier Manferdini, a highly visible design office that advocates design excellence and is recognized internationally for its ability to create imaginative architecture, fashion and object design. The work is based on the philosophy that design can participate in new developments defining our culture; translating the complexity of contemporary technology into built form. Currently the firm is designing a 250,000ft² master plan in Macerata, Italy, including 80 apartments, a museum, a public library and an open theater. Recently the firm collaborated with numerous industries, including MTV, Fiat, Nike, Alessi, Guzzini, Ottaviani, Leucos, Valentino and FolliFollie. Her architectural projects are exhibited internationally in both architecture and art museums: her work is currently showcased at “Skin and Bones,” in Tokyo. Last year she was invited to curate the West Coast USA session of the Beijing Biennale exhibition and she designed the West Coast pavilion for the Chinese Millennium Museum.