OMA designs The Met's Manus x Machina fashion and technology exhibition

OMA New York has used translucent scrim to create a “ghost cathedral” for 2016’s Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which focuses on the convergence of fashion and technology.

Manus x Machina – Fashion in an Age of Technology was open from 5 May to 14 August in The Met’s Robert Lehman Wing, within the temporary space designed by Dutch architecture firm OMA’s New York office.

Sponsored by Apple and curated by Andrew Bolton, the exhibition features more than 170 garments that demonstrate ways in which the hand (manus) and machine (machina) are used together to create both haute couture (high fashion) and prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) designs.

“Manus x Machina questions the dialectical relationship in which the hand and machine are portrayed as discordant instruments in the production of the haute couture and pret-a-porter,” said Bolton.

Led by architect Shohei Shigematsu, OMA New York transformed what was previously an underused hallway into the exhibition space using scaffolding wrapped with a white perforated PVC fabric.

“We had to create a whole environment, so what we did was to create this translucent ghost cathedral,” Shigematsu told Dezeen.

The classical architectural shapes were designed to be in keeping with the museum’s existing architecture, while materials provide a neutral space that would allow visitors to appreciate the details of the intricate garments.

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