Tag Archives: transparency

Diller and Scofidio create “mischievous” leak inside Nouvel gallery

Diller and Scofidio create “mischievous” leak inside Nouvel gallery.

They wanted to pay tribute to the original architecture of the galleries by using it as a raw material for their work.

“As the space is a provocation to artists and curators, so the installation is a provocation to the building,” Diller told Dezeen.

“One of the obvious attributes is this transparency and how it creates a provocation to everyone using it. So our first instinct was to create a problem for that transparency and to flirt with it in a different way.”

The glass walls of the larger gallery space to the left of the main entrance are coated with a liquid crystal film that fades in and out of transparency as an electric current passes through it.

“Liquid crystal film has been around probably for about twenty years or more. Generally it goes off and on. What makes this film unique is that you can control it,” explained Scofidio. “You can actually dial it down so it gradually changes to transparent, to translucent.”

“We tried to make it as invisible as possible,” added Diller.

A red plastic bucket on wheels appears to be the only occupant of the room. Inside the bucket is a camera and sensors that guide its movements around the space to collect drops of water that fall from the ceiling, as if there is a leak. As each drop falls, a loud noise sounds.

“We came up with this kind of mischievous thing, this leak. Just a leak, but it’s a very smart leak with a very smart bucket that captures it,” said Diller. “The [idea of this] empty space with just one very kind of banal object that is actually doing something very smart – it grew out of that. And then we thought: okay what do we do with the sound of that drop? How do we relate it to the next space?”

The smaller gallery to the right of the main entrance is occupied by a large screen that hangs parallel to the floor like a suspended ceiling, but just one metre above ground level.

To view the images being shown, visitors are invited to lie down on black loungers supported on wheels and propel themselves underneath the screen or use curved mirrors controlled using long black metal handles.

Once underneath, the moving image they see is a blown up version of the video footage captured by the camera in the bucket moving around in the space opposite. As each drop falls into the bucket, the surface of the water ripples, with the effect becoming amplified on the screen.

The sounds initially generated to accompany the drops of water also become distorted in the second room and choral voices are added to the acoustic arrangement, which was devised by American composer David Lang.

“The notion of, in one space – in the big space – doing something very tiny, almost invisible, almost nothing, and then taking that to the other space, makes it into the comic here and the sublime over there,” said Diller.

“It’s doing something that’s very ethereal in a way, but also grotesque, with that very large image and that drop becoming very forceful and the compression of watching with that very low floor-to-ceiling height.”


“We started by doing installations in galleries and it’s only now that we are the other side of the wall,” said Scofidio.

“We never said ‘one day we’ll be doing this’ or ‘one day we’ll have a big office’. It was never our intention. We were simply doing things that interested us and using the way that architects conceive the world to investigate conditions which we generally don’t pay a lot of attention to.”

Apple (Pro) Mouse — Minimally Minimal

Apple (Pro) Mouse — Minimally Minimal.


According to an interview by Cult of Mac with a former Apple ME, Abraham Farag, the Pro Mouse’s design was born unintentionally. During a design review, Steve Jobs was shown six different models of mice to evaluate. But Jobs was instead drawn to a seventh design, an unfinished model with the buttons yet to be built in. Jobs thought the buttonless design was brilliant, and the design team played along, pretending that it was their intention from the beginning. This unfinished design became the foundation of future Apple Mice.


Regardless of what you may think of the Apple Pro Mouse, I believe that there’s something admirable about its stubbornness. It’s like a masterful chef that’s owned a restaurant for decades and refuses to change their ways (Sukiyabashi Jiro comes to mind). If everyone was that stubborn, society wouldn’t function, but it’s these people with strong beliefs that help the rest of society ground their opinions. When so much of the world produces apologetic, impartial products, we need some stuff that pushes our notions forward. The mice that Apple made were just that.


The key to the Apple Pro Mouse’s beauty is in the layering of materials. The crystal clear shell incases a translucent graphite housing which hints at the inner workings of the mouse. Transparent housings were popular but in most cases, improperly done. Here, it’s done tastefully and these layers add depth and visual richness. It’s a work of art. This layering actually reminds me of marbles I had as a kid which I would hold up to the sun to examine their swirls of layered color. There was something incredible about these swirls, they were like encapsulated flames. The Apple Pro Mouse does something similar – in encapsulates technology.

The clear shell does a brilliant job of creating depth. At its thickest point, the wall thicknesses reach around .75cm. It’s rare to see a mass produced part that uses this much material and it’s no wonder the Pro Mouse looks so beautiful and truly unique.


And because the mouse is mostly transparent, it does a great job of blending into its environment. It’s a wondrous object when you examine it carefully but stays quiet when you don’t need its distraction.

It’s also fun to observe how the clear shell morphs its environment, bending the texture of whatever it sits on top of.


When Steve Jobs fell in love with the idea of a buttonless mouse, the solution the Apple engineers came up with was making the whole top housing a button. Instead of having switches mounted underneath a hinged button, it’s mounted underneath the entire top shell. It’s an elegant solution that allows the user to click anywhere they want.


It’s in natural lighting that the Apple Mouse really shines. The white nucleus looks like it’s being preserved in resin. Sort of reminds me of the Jurassic Park mosquito in amber. It’s helplessly futuristic, and comparisons with EVE from WALL-E are inevitable.


For most products, clarity becomes fogged up with doubt and lack of ambition. They have no opinion, are overly apologetic as they are designed to satisfy too many people. Steve Jobs didn’t believe in this approach. He made the zero button mouse a reality, and in tandem created the most simple, elegant operating system possible