Meet SOFTlab: Mixing High-Tech And The Everyday

<p>Fabricating digital with analog.</p>

NY-based design studio SOFTlab’s work falls somewhere between the realms of digital and analog, which is why The Creators Project commissioned a giant kaleidoscopic piece, R&Dazzle, after discovering their work on the Gallery. The two-part sculpture debuted at our New York event in October 2011.

As a studio, SOFTlab have created some stunning work that always imparts an element of surprise and delight on the viewer, without being “interactive” in the typically flashy way we imagine today—from a magnificent sculpture created using lazer-cut sheets and binder clips CHROMA.tex, to funnel-shaped LED-encrusted canopies designed for the entrance of a New York school like POLY.lux, their work is always visually striking, yet feels familiar and approachable.

Despite being formally trained in architecture, they are at home using lightweight materials often associated with the tools of handicraft, like wood or paper, which they combine with open sourced high-tech production techniques to create incredible-looking, cutting edge designs. In their hands the objects we might not associate with new media art become a way to bind the worlds of digital and analog, art and the every day.

In the video, founder Michael Szivos reveals the inspiration behind the R&Dazzle detailing why, like naval vessels in World War II, they covered the angular objects in stripes. Rendering the design and its components on computers, they numbered the different parts and then pieced the installation together like a giant triangulated jigsaw, placing mirrored panels in the prismatic insides to create jagged pods of kaleidoscopic wonder.

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