Baskets is a collaboration between New York architects Aranda/Lasch and Native-American basket weaver Terrol Dew Johnson. Aranda/Lasch and Terrol Dew Johnson began working together in early 2005 on a series of experimental baskets that explore new material and construction possibilities while engaging with the art of traditional weaving. With Terrol, Aranda/Lasch seeks to connect two distinct cultural practices, basketry and architecture, through their shared foundation of pattern-making. In Native-American tradition, pattern-making is a time-honored intersection of cultural tradition and personal expression. In architecture, pattern has emerged as a generative vehicle for new formal and structural expression. Both instances of pattern-making tell of the capacity that simple rule-driven systems, like weaving, have for producing a limitless abundance of pattern and form.
For this exhibition, rather than insisting on the novelty of computer-aided design to produce such abundance, the exchange between Aranda/Lasch and Terrol Dew Johnson benefits from a rich tradition with ancient roots. The collaboration has resulted in a series of patterned constructions made from a variety of materials, including grass, wood, glass, and metal. Baskets is curated by Christian Rattemeyer. Terrol Dew Johnson, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, began learning his craft at the early age of 10. Johnson is considered a leading Native American basket weaver known both for his traditional basketry as well as his contemporary innovation in form and pattern. His baskets are collected by museums and collectors across the nation. Terrol says: My work reflects who I am as a person… my culture… my family… the desert. I have learned much from my elders about tradition, patience and technique. I combine this respect for tradition with my own visions of the world I see around me.
Aranda/Lasch is a technologically progressive New York-based architecture studio established in 2003 by Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch. The mission of the studio is to play with mathematics and geometry as a way to deeply appreciate space, exploring how advanced computation can be used to foster architectural design.