A construction site in LogronoSpain, was transformed on the occasion of the Concentrico International Architecture and Design Festival which, since 2015, during the first week of September, aims to reflect on the city and its urban environment. This year, the Festival’s usual focus has been broadened to explore new urban practices: places that emerge from constant listening, to continue to generate debates that contemplate the city.
In other words, look at the new fabrics and the spaces in transformation, one of which is a site inside the old town, with its narrow streets, adjacent to the Church of Santa Maria de Palacio, where the work for the construction of a new technology center designed by Kengo Kuma will soon start.
Here the SKULL Prague-based studio, founded by an award-winning sculptor Matej Hajek and by the conceptual photographer Bet Orten, specializing in the creation of playgrounds, recreational facilities and spatial interventions, created the colorful installation Prior. A game landscape in Technicolor, inserted on the plot already freed from any pre-existing element, “with the targeted aim of stimulating various functions of the human physical and mental apparatus”as the creative minds at SKUL L.
The project, in fact, starts from the fact that “research on learning processes has produced the findings that the effectiveness of learning is multiplied when it takes place outside the comfort zone”, as we read in the press release. Hence the decision to solicit and challenge the visitor with the so-called “prediction error”, a concept on which the name of the installation is based, “Prior “, is also inspired. As the artists explain: “The human brain orients itself in space on the basis of a priori, which can be conceived as anchor points on which to capture the senses – vision, hearing, touch, etc. A predictive model is a conception of a state of the physical world. If there is a discrepancy between the conception and the actual state, then it is called a “prediction error”.

And this is precisely the purpose of the colorful artificial landscape created by SKUL L. On this land in transition in Logroño, nothing is defined, waiting for the new destination to be determined. The empty space was thus temporarily invaded by the colorful elements created by the artists with wooden and steel supports and a cladding in wood fiber panels. A temporary use designed to arouse curiosity and the desire to explore, thanks to the chromatic composition of the work. The irregular rhythm of the arrangement of solid and bold colors creates a strong vibration, which almost overwhelms the eyes. Adding an extra layer to the chromatic narrative, color filters can be used to further alter the effect of Prior.
In addition to SKULL Studio, the Concentric 08 The festival also saw the participation of architects and designers, including Konstantin Grcic, Matali Crasset and Rintala Eggertsson Architects. The Festival is organized by the Cultural Foundation of Architects of La Rioja with Javier Peña Ibáñez, promoter of the initiative, in collaboration with the Municipality of Logroño, the Government of La Rioja, Garnica and Bodegas LAN and with the support of more than 30 local organizations, regional, national and international institutions, organizations and companies.

Christiane Burklein

Project: SKULL Studio
Location: Logrono, Spain
Year: September 1 to 6, 2022
Images: Bet Orten, Josema Cutillas

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