SmithGroup, Detroit, MI
Through the Looking Grass is an inviting yet private installation designed to embody flexible manipulation, material simplicity, and component clarity relating to the whole. The Sukkah’s foundation houses four seats that raise and fold out independently and table legs that subsequently swing out to receive a table surface plate resting on the floor plane. Four split wooden structural frames meet at the center beneath the floor, housing the chairs and tables and serve as posts for pull-up canvas wall partitions. They converge, but do not touch, at their apex to suspend the vegetated, lightweight roof and web of suspended lights beneath it. The roof is suspended to elevate its ritual significance while highlighting exposed joint connectivity as the trussed frames meet towards a centered void.
In these ways, Through the Looking Grass brings a choice of wondrous transparency to the users during the moment of the ritual. Despite its hidden complexity beneath the surface, it is simple formally and locally sourced in its fabrication palette for ease of replication or mobility. The enclosed space created by the frames and walls turns the imagination to the sky, through the intricate voids of the roof, as one gazes up towards the stars into the dappled array of warm lights flickering beneath the organic floating cap. Through the Looking Grass celebrates experiences of eating and resting and rewards users who recognize the temporal nature of life by exploring this uplifting structure.