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Architecture exhibit continues — Sonoma Valley Museum of Art devotes entire space to ‘Site and Senses’

This existing residence, in the city of Doha, Qatar, occupying a large plot of underdeveloped land, is reimagined as an unfolding oasis within a harsh terrain. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

This existing residence, in the city of Doha, Qatar, occupying a large plot of underdeveloped land, is reimagined as an unfolding oasis within a harsh terrain. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

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The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art has dedicated its entire 5,000-square-foot exhibition space to the multi-sensory “Site and Senses: The Architecture of Aidlin Darling Design.”

The exhibit continues through March 2.

The solo exhibition, the firm’s first, features material palettes, models, sketches, renderings, full-scale mock-ups and photographs and videos. The focal point of the exhibition is C-Chassis, a site-specific 55-foot-long installation piece. It is through the acts of looking, listening, smelling, touching, testing and imagining, that museum visitors can gain an understanding of the important role the senses play in the work of this award-winning design firm.

“In our fast-paced world,” said David Darling, “we can have a tendency to ignore our environment – that’s why we often pitch a tent and spend days observing both tangible and intangible qualities of the site before we start to design. It is our hope that this exhibit prompts the public to realize how good, thoughtful design can not only awaken the senses, but re-connect us to place and to ourselves.”

Aidlin Darling Design, a San Francisco-based award-winning firm and recent recipient of the prestigious Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s 2013 National Design Award, is recognized for their emphasis on designing to appeal to all of the senses.

“Aidlin Darling’s project-specific design approach reflects its philosophy of rigorous pre-design research, intensive collaboration and reverence for the site. This exhibition gives a rare insight into a very exciting group of talented designers,” said Kate Eilersten, the museum’s executive director and chief curator.

Partners Joshua Aidlin, AIA, and David Darling, AIA, have cultivated a multi-disciplinary collaborative studio that acts as a creative hub for an extended network of like-minded artists, buildings, engineers, fabricators and even chefs, in order to design and construct projects that meet their design criteria. Each project in the firm’s portfolio of private residences, restaurants, retail and public spaces reflects a desire to uncover an inherent spirit of place and interpret constraints as catalysts for performative design. The individual character of each project emerges through poetic spatial relationships, material richness and exacting detail.

The museum is located at 551 Broadway. The museum is open to the public during exhibitions Wednesday through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for individuals, free to the public on Wednesdays, and always free to members.

For details, see smva.org or call 939-7862.