Paul Cocksedge Studio has been selected by 2011 Beijing Design Week and the First Beijing International Design Triennial to exhibit a major installation set to be a key highlight of the festival which this year features London as its guest city.
Entitled ‘Manuscript (Seats of Poetry)’, Paul Cocksedge Studio’s sculptural design celebrates a wonderful Chinese invention, manuscript paper, the foundation of global literature and communication. It follows Cocksedge’s ongoing interest in this inspirational material, and his investigations into its morphological potential.
At 20 metres long by 6.7 metres high, the sculpture’s impressive scale also presents itself as a monument to the industrial capability of China. The individual sheets making up this complex structure are precisely fabricated and assembled by local manufacturers.
Upon closer inspection the piece is made up of rolled steel pages inscribed with poems carefully curated from Chinese and English sources. ‘Manuscript’ is about the exchange of words, poetry and knowledge between Beijing and London.
Sited on Chang’An Avenue, the main east-west axis of the city, this temporary piece has been designed to be explored visually and physically by visitors to the China Millennium Monument, a cultural and events complex built to celebrate the turn of the millennium. Passers-by can sit and rest on the curved sheets and absorb the pages of poetry in one of the world’s most impressive public spaces.
Aric Chen, creative director of Beijing Design Week, said of the selection process:
‘In cooperation with the British Council, we solicited nominations that were narrowed down to three very talented London designers and firms who were invited to submit proposals for the installation. While all of their concepts were strong, Paul’s brilliantly combined poetry – and not just in the literal sense – with technical confidence in a way that truly celebrates design.’
Paul Cocksedge said: ‘ I am very honoured to have been able to contribute this work, ‘Manuscript’, to the 2011 Beijing Design Week. This structure speaks to so many different aspects of Chinese and British history and culture: poetry and writing, the power and beauty of nature, and, of course, man-made engineering and design. At heart, though, ‘Manuscript’ is simply meant to inspire people to look, listen, and make new discoveries.