Published July 10, 2014
MirrorMirror, the award-winning temporary street tent designed by architecture professors Stephanie Davidson and Georg Rafailidis, again has been recognized by the international design community.
The dazzling, mirrored festival tents recently were announced as the winner of two 2014 AZ Awards, earning both the “People’s Choice Award” and an “Award of Merit” in the Temporary Architecture category. Sponsored by the design magazine Azure, the AZ Awards represent an international snapshot of top architecture and design.
This year’s competition drew 652 entries from around the world. Both a Jury and People’s Choice award were presented across 13 categories, from residential and landscape architecture to interior and furniture design to student projects. An Award of Merit was given to 36 projects.
MirrorMirror, including eight tent units, currently is on display through Aug. 15 at the Canalside cultural and entertainment district in downtown Buffalo.
MirrorMirror was developed by Davidson, clinical assistant professor of architecture, and Rafailidis, assistant professor of architecture, through their Buffalo-based practice, Davidson Rafailidis. It was the winning entry for the 2013 IDEAS CITY StreetFest Tenting Competition, which asked an international field of designers to reimagine temporary street tents as provocative spaces for the public to gather and interact. That competition was sponsored by the Storefront for Art and Architecture and New Museum in collaboration with Architizer.
MirrorMirror features a simple 45-degree-angled gabled roof made of mirrored panels and an aluminum frame. Multiples of its 12-foot by 16-foot base unit can be combined to create a barn-like structure for larger gatherings. The panels, which reflect public interactions below and the sky and surroundings above, are sheathed in Mylar mirror foil, a material often used as glassless mirrors in dance studios.
“The AZ award is especially exciting for us, as it attracts an incredible amount of international submissions every year,” says Davidson, whose research and practice collaborations with Rafailidis explore heightened physical relationships between buildings and users.
Adds Rafailidis: “We are also excited to see the tents adopted into a wide range of different events and sites so naturally. This allows us to study the main concept, which is a structure that blends in all sorts of unknown future settings and a structure that relates to people independently from any specific use.”
For the past year, the tents have been on display at the New Museum, a leading contemporary art museum in Manhattan. This summer, the New Museum has loaned them out for a series of festivals and events in Buffalo. In June, the tents were featured at a gala at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
MirrorMirror’s current installation at Canalside is being offered in collaboration with the echo Art Fair, a juried fine art exposition that will take place at the Erie County Public Library Sept. 6-7.
The tents will return to the New Museum in the fall and will reappear on the streets of Manhattan for the 2015 IdeasCity festival.