Materials: Metallic finish polytext fabric

Consultant: The Inflatable Design Group

“Pigs in Box” is a proposal for a pop-up store in New York as a part of BOFFO’s Building Fashion series that pairs emerging architects with contemporary clothing designer. We propose to insert a massive fabric inflatable into the existing retail storefront space. The giant scale of the fabric inflatable makes it too large for visitors to ascertain as an object; instead it is experienced as a walk-through environment. It is the character of the inflatable “pigs,” their precise posture and fit against the limits of the space, that creates a series of three distinct environments separated by a series of “hugs:”

• Under the Belly, Eden: Wherein visitors enter into a slightly humid, softly lit room full of plants, meandering underneath a belly stippled with pouches that are filled to bulging with stuffed animals – just close enough, one can reach up, unzip a pouch, select an animal. Behind the front desk, a woman perhaps offers to paint one’s nails, or more probably, paints her own.

• The First Hug: Wherein visitors transition from the first zone to the second, lovingly squeezed between a wall and a swollen pig protuberance.

• Fat Grotto, Gothic: Wherein visitors browse through a collection of vintage clothes suspended on day-glow ropes from a bloated, ribbed vault. Circulating through the hanging collection, visitors experience shopping in the round, an ability to view all sides of a piece without taking it off the rack.

• The Second Hug: Wherein visitors transition from the second zone to the third, lovingly squeezed out, excrescence between two legs.

• Out, into a Clearing: Wherein visitors arrive in a flexible, open environment, for the first time with no pigs overhead; perhaps there is an outfit on display.

The scheme has an attitude toward complexity, how it is generated, and what the beneficial consequences of complexity might be. “Pigs in box” does not generate complexity solely through the
geometry of the inflatable pigs, but rather through the operation of stuffing a rigid volume with soft bodies. The fullness of this stuffing generates a plan where each space in the sequence is a carefully choreographed encounter between the visitor and the bodily attitude and character of the pigs. Spatial complexity becomes a vehicle for joy, physicality, and surprise.