Size 16,000 sf
Team Primo Orpilla, Verda Alexander, Elizabeth Vereker, Olivia Ward, Al McKee, Tova Schachter, Dani Canepa
Photographer Jasper Sanidad
Our sense of place now can be no-place or many places at once. The individual creates place. Events create place. A destination is not a point on a map, but who occupies that point. To have an impact in today’s economy a place must be more than its geography or its cultural traditions; it must have a purpose that generates community.
With that thought as theme, O+A sought out four of Kimball’s featured designers—Primo Orpilla, Daniel Korb and the team of Pam Light and John Duffy—and created individual structures reflecting each designer’s sensibility, philosophy and aesthetic preferences. Drawing on answers to a series of offbeat interview questions (The zoo is closing. What animal do you take?), these striking visualizations created three new places in the same old place at the Merchandise Mart—demonstrating Kimball’s commitment as a furniture manufacturer to look at every space and function anew.
Primo Orpilla explores junk yards and architectural salvage sites. In rescued wood and steel retired from its original purpose he perceives lost evolutions of design—and formulates their next iterations. An Orpilla piece grows organically from the experience of using it. Each is an exercise in turning work into a more and more natural process and work furniture into a vehicle for making it effortless. The goal: a work tool that doesn’t look like a tool and doesn’t feel like work—even as it allows you to get the job done.