Pigcasso: Controlled Isolation

The physical space that I chose to review was the Pigcasso play piece located at the North Carolina Museum of Art. This piece was originally designed by Spanish artist Jaime Hayon and it was part of a series of large-scale whimsical sculptures. This piece sits fresh off one of the museum’s many trails and is interactive as seen by the visitors who hang around the sculpture. People think of it as part pig part spaceship thanks to the sleek aerodynamic design that it bolsters. The sculpture is mostly white with a red-orange design that extends all the way around the outside. The tail of the sculpture has a small staircase that extends itself to its cozy insides. Once in, guests have the opportunity to hangout in a quiet enclosed space or take the slide down and out the opposite way in which they entered. The head of the piece is flat but hints at it being the face by the ears that sit perfectly on top.

The outside of Pigcasso highlighting the popular slide

The experience felt inside Pigcasso is different from what someone may expect. For how condensed the sculpture looks on the outside, its inside is plenty big enough to walk through standing up. Being inside the pig seems similar to hiding in an underground bunker away from civilization. Even in the hustle and bustle of kids and animals running around the museum trails, Pigcasso takes all that away as if you are the only person at the museum. The vibe of the space is controlled isolation in that you are taken away from the world, however, you can still hear things at all times and exiting is just one slide. The piece really goes along with the other exhibits which are very loud in color, shape, and they all stick out like a sore thumb because the artist wants you to notice them. Ironically though, with how loud the outside is, the inside is as equally quiet. Also, the materials for this piece are mostly wood for the shaft with some metal plating on the insides, slide, and steps. The wood paneling all over the top allow for small beams of sunlight to seek through to add to the idea of controlled but not total isolation. I believe the wood was especially chosen as a way for light to filter in to give the sculpture less of a claustrophobic feel to it.

The staircase side of the pig that shows the inner core

As far as changes, one thing I would do that would not compromise the outer look of the sculpture would be to add some sort of inside table and chair to entice people to stay and admire the inside longer. Especially on a nice day, this would be a great way for museum-goers to relax but also get away from others visiting. The only cosmetic suggestion I would suggest making would be to maybe modify the wood on the side to make an open and closable hatch for visitors to put up and still see the view of the museum. The understanding for these modifications would add to the idea of controlled isolation and allow visitors to get the best of both worlds.

The trailside view of Pigcasso