I’ve been documenting this cool project I’ve been working on with Alldayeveryday and Nike with a barrage of amazing artists that helped form the Nike Stadium space on the Bowery in downtown New York. Rafael Cardenas is one of the artists I got to interview in our video series showcasing these talents.
Rafael owns a company called Architecture at Large. He likes to compare himself to almost an “Editor-at Large” which is someone on the peripherals, but still at the helm of a project, injecting his voice in an unconventional way — mashing up architecture and art. He confesses he doesn’t necessarily create “traditional architecture” as he calls it. He prefers to “bend those rules a little bit but keep it within the paradigm of architecture”. Some of his other projects have utilized luxurious materials and fabrics. For this particular Nike project, he conceived with the simplicity of a sports room — using fluorescent tape in the color of Brazil (homage to World Cup), and minimalist peg board. If you notice, the peg board in this room is lit up from behind, creating an almost life-size “lite-brite” effect.
I went to visit Rafael in his office in New York, and old historic building in the center of Soho (Broadway and Houston), the same building that the prestigious Philip-Lorca diCorcia houses his office. The Architecture at Large office is lined with a wall full of white binders along a white background wall — Binders reading past client work from Nike to Oh-Wow to Charlotte Ronson. Just like him, the space is streamlined and efficient. His staff runs everything like a family, including the unified ice coffee run the day of my afternoon heat wave visit. Their unit is tight, friendly, hip, and has a great vibe. On my way out, I looked up to see an old school vinyl relic tucked behind bars — Sheryl Lee Ralph’s album, In The Evening. The 12″ dance version no less. ‘Nuff said.
Below is the video I produced with Alldayeveryday to introduce Rafael as one of the artists contributing to the vision of Nike Stadium.
To read the original blog post, go to: Nikestadiums.com/Rafael
To see more of Rafael’s work, go to:Architecturearlarge.com