Mitchell Exhibitions Arts & Crafts, 1979
The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, offers inspiration for an Armature project, to salvage neglected architecture often slated for demolition to make way for new construction. Prevailing economic and technological forces have tended, in cities around the world, to level the historic artifice, leaving in its place new buildings with disorienting and anonymous form.
The Corn Palace exterior is annually transformed by temporary art installations built into the building’s facade. The Mitchell Exhibitions Arts & Crafts Armature concept follows a similar approach, allowing for cyclical collaborative additions to the building that evolve over generations and enrich the architecture with a sense of cultural identity.
The exterior of the building is clad in clay tiles produced by groups of rotating artists and participants from the community. The tile design maintains aesthetic continuity yet varies over time as the project progresses to reflect the unique expression of each contributing group. Armature engages a cooperative environment by activating public space with the intentions and aspirations of the community it serves.