Olafur Eliasson: The Shape of an Idea

The space that ideas stem from is similar to a treasure room, according to artist Olafur Eliasson, who here discusses his remarkable art installation ‘Model Room’.

A beginning has the shape of an idea, and before the idea is something one might call intuition or something that is ‘felt’: “It’s meaningful but it has no words,” Elisasson says. Adding words to an idea, therefore, can sometimes be counterproductive and makes the idea more pragmatic as it has to be explained: “Intuition is always a flow, it’s like a little poem of something which has not yet come to verbalization.”

This is why Eliasson or people from his team, among these mathematician Einar Thorsteinn, make models, because these “small spatial experiments” help him realize whether the actual work of art is as good as the idea it is derived from. The extraordinary table, which is his art installation ‘Model Room’, is thus about the relationship between thinking and doing and about “celebrating the area around where things start – the ideas.”

Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) works with sculpture, painting, photography, film and installations. He grew up in Iceland and Denmark and studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine arts from 1989-1995. In 1995 he moved to Berlin where he founded Studio Olafur Eliasson. Eliasson is behind many major exhibitions and projects around the world, such as ‘The Weather Project’ at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2003, ‘Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson’ organized by SFMOMA in 2007, which travelled until 2010 to major venues such the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and ‘Riverbed’ at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in 2014. Among Eliasson’s projects in public space are ‘Green River’, carried out in various cities from 1998-2001 and ‘The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion’ in 2007 in collaboration with Kjetil Thorsen of Snøhetta. He lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin.

Olafur Eliasson was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in 2014
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
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About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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