Jenny Sabin Creates an Otherworldly Wonderland for Peroni Pop Up

The installation, drawing from technology used in the multi-disciplinary designer’s winning pavilion for MoMA PS1 last year, makes its first stop in New York this weekend.
Jenny Sabin Peroni

Jenny Sabin’s Luster installation. The multidisciplinary designer worked with Arup to design the canopy’s structural system. Courtesy Chris Eckert

Of all the pavilions constructed for MoMA PS1’s annual Young Architects Program, one of the most memorable was Jenny Sabin’s delicate Lumen installation. Using a high-tech photo-luminescent fiber, the multidisciplinary designer created an enigmatic 3D knit canopy of gently undulating tendrils under which museumgoers could dance and congregate over the course of the summer. “People really owned the project and fell in love with it,” Sabin recalls. “It framed collective space.”

Like all summertime pavilions, Lumen was fleeting and what remained of the well-loved canopy was packed away in Sabin’s studio in Ithaca, New York. Fortunately, New Yorkers have another opportunity to experience Sabin’s creation. This time, the round is on Peroni.

The Italian brewing company teamed up with the cultural nonprofit Art Production Fund to commission an immersive installation for House of Peroni, a combined pop-up lounge and art concept.

Sabin’s response, called Luster, is essentially Lumen 2.0. The project borrows much of the PS1 pavilion’s formal language (ethereal knit tubes hanging from a cell-like structural network) as well as its technology: high-tech fibers absorb sunlight (in this case, flooding in from generous windows) and release that energy as light in dark environments. But, according to Sabin,“this project afforded an opportunity to reflect on the successes of Lumen and also areas we could improve upon and refine.”

Jenny Sabin Peroni

The flexible canopy is designed to adapt to a variety of environments as it travels to different venues across the United States this November. Courtesy BFA

Because the pavilion will be deployed in different spaces throughout its U.S. tour, Sabin and her team needed to devise a way to adapt it to different indoor venues. They cleverly integrated zippers into the nylon webbing, for instance, so that the canopy could easily swallow up columns and walls when needed.

The designers also made subtle amendments to the textile technology itself, mainly incorporating a triple-ply thread—an adaptation that lends strength to Luster’s anemone like appendages, and creates a brighter glow.

Over the course of Luster’s four city tour (Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, D.C. are next), the Art Production Fund will work with local artists to create a corollary work. At the House of Peroni’s opening Thursday, chicly-dressed guests mingled around geometric tables and chairs (designed and fabricated by Sabin’s studio), as well as a custom bar displaying Peroni Nastro Azzurro lager.

But for Sabin, the project is less about beer and more about, “a consideration of what I do…and how that would link with the mission of this project—that’s why I took it on. It wasn’t about the product per se, but about a shared sense of the future.”

Cheers to that.

Luster and the House of Peroni will be open to the public at 463 West St. in New York through Saturday October 20, before moving to Los Angeles November 8.

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Categories: Arts + Culture, Design

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