Canadian Architect


Unseen Current at Chicago’s Extension Gallery for Architecture

February 28, 2008
by Canadian Architect

This exhibition, an interactive installation and exhibition of the work of Ball-Nogues Studio, opens Friday, March 14th at 6:00pm and runs through to May 11th.

Unseen Current will be an atmospheric nebula that saturates the Extension Gallery. An immersive installation unknowable in its entirety when viewed from a single perspective, it invites visitors to navigate it like a dense rolling fog. Is it a body or is it a surface? Not exactly either, requiring over fifteen miles of brightly colored twine, 6,000 sagging strings or “catenaries” will come together to form the project. Each catenary spans across the gallery and is unique in length. The designers are using custom software developed for the project by Pylon Technical to explore the form and compute the position and length of the individual catenaries.

Philip Johnson’s ethereal hanging-chain window treatments at the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building served as inspiration for the design. Ball-Nogues “sample” what was essentially a two-dimensional decorative motif for Johnson then reinterpret it for their three-dimensional spatial modulations in the gallery.

Ball-Nogues Studio is an integrated design and fabrication practice that creates products and experimental built environments to enhance and celebrate the potential for social interaction through sensation, spectacle and physical engagement while striving to infuse the matter of the built environment with a downstream purpose. For more information, please visit

Unseen Current is sponsored by the Extension Gallery, the Graham Foundation, and the designers’ support provided by United States Artists. The Extension Gallery for Architecture is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00pm to 5:00pm and every second Friday from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Sponsored by Podmajersky Inc., the gallery is located at 1835 S. Halsted Street in the Chicago Arts District, where it joins more than 20 other galleries in one of Chicago’s most well-established art and cultural communities. Through the 50+ year commitment of the Podmajersky Family, this vibrant community hosts a series of events throughout the year which are open to the public and contribute to the depth and variety of Chicago’s cultural landscape.

For more information about Extension Gallery and the Ball-Nogues Studio exhibition, please visit the gallery’s website at or contact Paula Palombo at 1.773.742.0983 or via e-mail at For more information on the Chicago Arts District, please visit or contact Julie Anna Welcher at

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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