Metis : On the Surface


Mark Dorrian
University of Edinburgh
Adrian Hawker
University of Edinburgh


Portfolio, Practice Based, exhibition, art, architecture, urbanism


Metis : On the Surface is an exhibition of seven projects that range from installations to large urban restructuring proposals. The exhibition and the projects are by Metis, an atelier for art, architecture and urbanism founded by Mark Dorrian and Adrian Hawker at the University of Edinburgh in 1997. The projects aim to connect architectural research, teaching and practice. As this exhibition attests, the projects research the city and the complex ways in which it is imagined, inhabited, and representationally encoded. The research produces rich, multi-layered outputs that resist immediate consumption and that are instead gradually unfurled over time through interaction with them. The work demonstrates a poetic but critical approach to the city that is sensitive to the city’s cultural memory but is also articulated in relation to its possible futures. Working between two contrasting scales, the exhibition itself constitutes an original research output. The seven projects have been redrawn, crafted, reinterpreted and combined into a complex topographical surface. Visitors entering the exhibition encounter a vast drawing on which they walk, carpeting the floor of the gallery. Through this, an internal terrain is inserted within the display space, which is then inhabited by glass display tables that hold detailed drawings and models. The viewers of the exhibition thus not only see a series of projects, but find themselves – as they travel across scale and space – active participants in a speculative architectural imaginary, one in which the architectural object is always in communication with the broader historical, cultural, material and representational conditions of the city or landscape within which it is positioned. The exhibitions ran from: 10 October – 14 November 2014. Arkitektskolen Gallery, Aarhus, Denmark. 27 March – 6 April 2015. Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art, (ECA), Edinburgh, UK.

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30 May 2024


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.