PORO-City proposes a dialogue with the many communities of Los Angeles. Milk crates function as a brick system that is neither transparent nor solid, housing the exhibition without imposing a rigid boundary. The combination of bright colors and porosity makes the assemblage enticing to approach and exciting to engage as a place of discovery.
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Pop-Ups Design (Built)
PORO-City Design team
Chieh-Ting Chuang, Martha Kriley, Yushan Men, Kyoung Eun Park
©Kyoung Eun Park, Dylan Corr
The modularity of the crate allows for flexibility and imagination, and its sturdy construction makes it ideal for reuse. In this way, milk crates exemplify resourcefulness and the ability of people to create the extraordinary from the mundane.
Our vision for this exhibition was to exemplify the ability of people to create the extraordinary from the mundane. Showcasing milk crates, which by their nature are utilitarian objects, celebrates this resourcefulness. The bright and unexpected colors further elevate and transform the material and show it in a new way.
Each color—orange, yellow, and pink—is located within a different area of the exhibition space. As visitors explore the gallery, a single color dominates the field of view, while other colors peek through. The combination of bright colors and porosity makes the assemblage enticing to approach and exciting to engage as a place of discovery.
The colors also challenge traditional neutral museum displays. Rather than fading into the background, they create a figure/ground effect that boldly frames the student’s work. The atrium uses only white crates, blending into the existing white walls. The contrast between spaces helps guide visitors to the more colorful primary exhibition space.
We settled on a kit-of-parts construction using milk crates as our primary building material due to their adaptability and recognizability. Assembled as undulating porous walls, crates frame views and emphasize the experiential relationship between exhibition and site. The stacked brick pattern recalls the textures of breeze block walls, iconic surfaces of the LA landscape. The final result is a welcoming and vibrant exhibition in an array of vivid colors.
Visitors not only viewed the exhibited student work on the walls of the crate, but also used the crates to hold beverages, cell phones, and bags. A display podium became temporary award storage. A circular seating area became an impromptu dance floor. And finally, a half-wall designed as a photo booth unexpectedly became a children’s nook. Its proximity to an outlet allowed them to play video games, while the holes in the crates allowed their parents to keep an eye out.
The goal of the exhibition design is to ensure minimal waste in the production of the exhibit. We present a proposal to reuse all the exhibition materials after the exhibition. We partner with a community organization to formulate a plan for long-term secondary use of the parts of the exhibition. We ensure a minimal alternation to the milk crates and form a creative way to connect the milk crates to build a stable structure that can easily be taken apart for donations.