A/D/O Activity Book by MOS Architects.

As part of "And Benches..."

It all started with two aluminum elements, the “Horizontal” and the “Vertical.”

The “Horizontal” is 100 inches long; the “Vertical” is 16- inches high. After countersinking 336 holes into the “Horizontal” and drilling 42 holes into the “Vertical,” they can attach together: “Verticals” to “Horizontals”; “Horizontals” to “Verticals”; “Verticals” to “Verticals”; and “Horizontals” to “Horizontals.” One “Horizontal” plus three “Verticals” make a single bench… But “Verticals” can become horizontal and “Horizontals” vertical. All of these are attached by “People,” and we’ve found that “People” don’t like to follow directions. They bend or break the rules. You can, for example, construct something with “Horizontals” and no “Verticals,” or vice versa. This logic of addition repeats until you simply run out of parts or money or both. Everything is aggregated, arranged, and rearranged by “People.” Everything is mirrored. Everything reflects everything else. “People” assemble and disassemble “Horizontals” and “Verticals” while wearing beautiful shimmering “Uniforms”—silver mylar, pleated nylon coats full of pockets for storage—designed in collaboration with Slow and Steady Wins the Race. These “Uniforms” store and conceal their tools. These “Uniforms” make the labor seem incredibly fun, which it is not. (It is slightly fun, if you’re into that sort of thing.) While working, “People” carry wonderful “Activity Books,” designed in collaboration with Studio Lin. These “Activity Books” inform and distract them from their work. But the “People” are a nomadic workforce. They don’t want to be doing this full-time. They want to be somewhere else. They want to be distracted… Each “Activity Book” has 100 configurations—and a lot of stickers—that document a small portion of configurations made from “Horizontals” and “Verticals”: a bus stop; park bench; bed; catwalk; partition; auditorium; riot barricade; pop-up shop; A.A. (architecture anonymous) meeting space; breakdancing stage; performance review niche; community theater; avant-garde coffee shop; phone booth; bedroom ensemble; bulk storage; secret society hangout; temporary museum; graphic designer support space; place to forget your wallet; gluten-free cooking arena; artisanal mugs craft fair; yet another makerspace; lecture hall; nondenominational chapel; pretentious market; design nightschool; global art fair; open-source archive; revolutionary activity organization… We cannot anticipate what will happen, or all the possibilities for A/D/O, itself a workspace, design school, retail outlet, gallery, restaurant, and many more things all at once. It is a platform. It is an ever-changing assembly like the installation itself. We don’t completely understand what it will become. What we do know is that the “Verticals” and “Horizontals” are bolted together with 20 flat-head screws.


Designer credits: Hilary Sample, Paul Ruppert, John Yurchyk, Michael Abel, Mark Acciari, Nile Greenberg, Zosia Nowakowska, Fancheng Fei, Andrew Frame.

Book design by: Studio Lin and MOS Architects.