Spotlight: Snarkitecture

Snarkitecture is a collaborative and experimental practice operating in territories between art and architecture. The name is drawn from Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of The Snark, a poem describing an “impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature.” Snarkitecture investigates the unknown within architecture—the indefinable moments created by manipulating and reinterpreting existing materials, structures and programs to spectacular effect.

Exploring the boundaries of disciplines, the studio designs permanent, architectural scale projects and functional objects with new and imaginative purposes. Snarkitecture’s approach focuses on the viewer’s experience and memory, creating moments of wonder and interaction that allow people to engage directly with their surrounding environment. By transforming the familiar into the extraordinary, Snarkitecture makes architecture perform the unexpected.

Snarkitecture was established by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham.

SNARKITECTURE PORTRAIT BY NOAH KALINA

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. We’re Snarkitecture and we make architecture perform the unexpected.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? In December we had several projects, including the holiday windows for Calvin Klein on Madison Avenue, a basketball installation at Alchemist in the 1111 parking structure in Miami during Art Basel, and a massive, all white marble run installation at Delano also during Art Basel. We have a few big things coming up in 2015, including a project during Salone del Mobile in Milan in April and something very exciting in Washington DC this summer.

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How did your interest in art or design begin? Legos.

How has living in New York affected your design practice? You can certainly design in other cities but New York makes a strong case for being one of the best.

SNARKITECTURE MARBLE RUN 04 NOAH KALINA

What was the last show you saw that stuck out to you? We did a workshop at Cranbrook Academy of Art a couple weeks ago and were fortunate enough to get a tour of their vault which was an amazing experience. Could have easily spent an entire day in there. Upstairs in the museum there was a show that included Anthony McCall’s “Line Describing a Cone” and a sound installation by Hans Rosenström—both stuck with me for how immersive and mesmerizing they were.

SNARKITECTURE AIRBALL 01 NOAH KALINA

What is your beverage of choice when working in your studio? Americanos.

What are you listening to right now? So many good things. This last month has featured a lot of Panda Bear, Rae Sremmurd, Future Brown, Sleater-Kinney, Arca to mention a few. The best place to start is some of my favorite music from last year, on Spotify here: 2014 best of (spotify version).

SNARKITECTURE CK WINDOWS 02 NOAH KALINA

Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? We’re always happy when children respond positively to our work. We’ve had a lot of kids climbing on, running around and exploring our projects, which usually leads to adults doing the same.