Student Work

  • Interior Design (MFA)

    Laura Suppan

    Minimal/Maximal: from definitions to application

    “MINIMAL/MAXIMAL: from definitions to application” is a conceptual interior-design project that evolves around the insufficient and shallow definitions of minimalism and the absent definition of maximalism in design. The economical definition of ‘minimalprinzip’ and ‘maximalprinzip’ are useful to reflect on as they are the foundation for the defining process and point of entry to the design process. A kit-of-parts, of presumably minimal spatial elements, is developed through the analysis of existing minimal art, and allegedly minimal architecture.The program of the design project reacts on socio-economic minimal conditions in Manhattan and specifically the adjacent areas of the site, which is at the corner of Canal Street and Broadway in lower Manhattan. The scenario provides a public library, reading spaces, and an auditorium in the top and bottom floor of an 18,000 square foot landmark building. It is to serve the public interest. In the focus of the project is a highly contextual civic space created at the street level of the building, which is embedded as an extension in the urban landscape by creating a focal point for the community of the four adjacent neighborhoods. The furniture, the spatial configurations and their flexibility allow for a maximum of social interactions between single individuals, groups and the larger community. The controversy of ‘minimal’ and ‘maximal’ is to unfold in the conclusion: the process of designing and interior environment, an object, or an architectural atmosphere can be defined as minimal. The end-point, or the result of this minimal process, can be argued either way. Minimalism and maximalism are not able to exist separate from each other and can only be looked at separately in the process of defining. In the permanency of reality they coexist; the context of one reveals the other.