Constructed in 1924, passersby hardly notice activity around St. Andrew’s Collegiate Chapel. Majestic in its Gothic Revival-style, the chapel has stood dormant—without heat, plumbing, or electricity—for more than 20 years until artist Aaron Asis wrapped its grandeur in 7,000 feet of paracord and invited the neighborhood to remember it.
Aaron Asis developed his installation, entitled Ci-Lines, to create an opportunity for the community to experience the grandeur of this otherwise inaccessible space.
“I wanted to showcase St. Andrew’s own existing architectural grandeur. By using cords to highlight bands of natural light and by creating form amidst the interstitial, I invited visitors into a kind of visual portal through which they could appreciate the detailed grace of this vacant chapel.”
Once beneath the symmetrical umbrella of electric blue tensioned cords, observant eyes wandered between the architectural elements inside the chapel that inspired its creation, allowing them to explore the nuances of the chapel’s interior environment. The cords created a woven connection between the carved wooden posts along the chapel’s walls and the architectural columns supporting the balconies above. The resultant Ci-Lines became a catalyst for gathering and sharing experience—a social congregation in a space originally intended for religious congregations.
For three days, the public was invited to explore St. Andrew’s interior through Ci-Lines and share memories of their own personal relationship with the now vacant place of worship. Sparked by curiosity, the result was the beginnings of a new narrative about the preservation and future activation of this underutilized space.
Ci-Lines was created by Brooklyn-based visual artist Aaron Asis, in collaboration with the University City Arts League, the Penn-Alexander School, Art in the Open Philadephia, and partnering support from Philadelphia-based photographer, Lori Waselchuck.
The event culminated in a panel discussion on the final day, during which speakers were invited to share stories about the chapel's active life.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.