Carpet Creatures

Installation in a closed public school

2018 — Built

Exhibit and Installation Design

Collaborators: Ladi Famodu, Darrell McKinney, with Tae Jang

Carpet Creatures positions vibrantly-colored zoomorphic forms within a former classroom at Overton Elementary School, activating Room 303 as an inhabitable gameboard, a field of play, and a platform for collecting memories and scheming the future. Like three-dimensional Tangrams, each creaturely form is generated from elemental geometric blocks that are assembled into multiple configurations that conjure animate qualities. Fuzzy carpet tiles adorn each creature, repurposing a typical classroom material used for storytime and informal small group work, and rendering its academic familiarity a bit strange. A diagonal grid of carpet tiles along the floor suggests zones that offer an organizational framework for the community to engage in impromptu acts of play by repositioning the carpet-clad creatures around the room. As a game with no set rules and a playing field with no out-of-bounds, the classroom becomes a color-infused arena for playful occupation, physical animation, and conversation.

This project is part of Creative Grounds, an initiative led by Borderless Studio to explore the community and urban role of school grounds after the largest public schools closure in Chicago's history.

Thank you to Interface Chicago and Landon Bone Baker Architects for carpet tile donations!