Proposals for a Coat Check Room for Smith College Museum of Art 2005
Thread: A Coatroom for Smith College Museum of Art is an extended and conspicuous red railing that winds its way up to, into and through the museum. The outside of the museum flows into the inside. Seen from the street the red railing communicates that the museum is reaching out. The line flowing along the façade of the museum is a drawing, drawing one inside.
Thread points the way to the entrance and directs people to the coat check room.
Appearing as a continuous line drawing in three dimensions, the red railing is actually an organizing functional system. It is an armature. The ordinary closet railing comes out of the closet. It supports and contains objects that, in this museum context, become decoration: coats, umbrellas, signage, banners, monitors, shelving and a curtain wall.
The museum is a living organism, now with a pumping and circulating red vein. It flows through the lobby and into the coatroom where it seems to pass through the window. Outdoors it threads along the front façade of the Museum forming an entrance arch over the stairs and finally curving down to form the stair handrail. The handrail and the interior balcony railing are the beginning and end points of this thread line - a non verbal narrative that links visitor to museum, and fine art to applied art.