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Beneath the Surface Blog


Thursday Salute to Originals: Architecture's Place at the Oscars

GPI Design - Thursday, February 28, 2013

Highly visual people just can’t turn off that critical eye, even when it’s outside of office hours. We’re compulsively searching for relationships, trends, and inspirations in nearly any and every place possible. For some of us on Sunday night, the Oscars served as our creative fix for the weekend. While its easy to “ooh” and “aah” at the sparkly evening gowns and their more obvious surface characteristics, if you dig a bit deeper, you can spot emerging patterns and trends that have implications not only in fashion, but architecture as well.

One strong visual trend seemed to stand out at this year’s Oscar fashions – organic, fluid shapes broken down by strong geometric details. A juxtaposition of flowing lines and sharp angles, this aesthetic highlights natural curves and organic form while providing structure, order, and refinement in a contemporary contrast.

Above: Jessica Chastain / Frank Gehry's Neuer Zollhof Nº 2

Above: Charlize Theron / Frank Gehry's New World Center (sheer coincidence that Gehry is used twice for an example in this post!)

This savvy design approach strikes a chord with us – our backlit onyx walls, for example, are typically quite tailored with precise joints and straight edges. However, it’s those structured joints and jutting right angles that allow the organic onyx patterns to dance across the surface in a layer of intrigue, highlighting and emphasizing its natural beauty and form. Similar to a gown reacting to a woman’s body, the design of our backlit walls react to the natural beauty found inertly within a slab, tactfully underscoring the exquisiteness in mother nature’s creation in a refined format. 


Above: Naomi Watts / Al Hadra tower by SOM


With strong aesthetic tendencies, it's natural for us to draw parallels between fashion, architecture, and our own creative work.  Can visual design be pared down into the play between two simple qualities - tailored and organic?


Images compiled by GPI Design. Individual image credits: Harper's Bazaar, Architectural Record, Arch Daily, Nigel_Xf via Flickr