Matterball, Alex McDowells

FMX Stuttgart, Germany
Architects
Nau2
Year
2007
Client
FMX Conference

The exhibition frames Alex McDowell’s original set designs for films including Minority Report, Fight Club and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory within his unique, non-linear production model—the ‘Matterball’. This graphic, ‘the flavor tree machine’ from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the circular exhibition space provide the conceptual starting point for this design.

In the center of the axially composed space stands a sculptural spherical form. Manufactured through CNC milling using contemporary digital techniques from the film industry, a robust lightweight architecture is created. Inspired by View-Master toys, the sphere’s surface is radially punctuated with fourteen view cones. Flat screen monitors embedded at differing heights in the cones encourage a playful interaction with the audience. Each station shows a film clip from a stage in the design process, such as research, pre-visualization, or set construction. By circulating around the piece, viewers observe how the film design is developed, culminating in a carved out interior lounge displaying the final film extracts and a brief portrait/interview of Mr. McDowell.

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