Each year since we moved into our current studio, Submaterial refreshes the lobby for our September Open House. We take the opportunity to feature some of our new products, play around with fun or experimental installation methods, and often use scraps, offcuts, and items we might generally recycle or throw away from the production process. While we schedule the lobby unveiling for the September event, it is equally as exciting to have something new in the space for a full year of visitors, and the staff enjoys the updated space as well.
Here are the previous lobby installations. Six months after moving into this space, the first lobby install was an ambitious display! It included our most popular wall covering, Index Dimensional, covering the cube. Atop the cube sat an oversized sphere made of cardboard, and on the back wall was a prototype of felt lettering, which came in the form of a Diane Ackerman quote (a favorite writer of our founder and creative director, David).
Lobby Install 2019
Alas, an installation in 2020 was not to be (understandably). In 2021, we showed off our Imprint wall covering on the cube, some experimental perspective wall panels, the then-new Divvy Screen at right, and a full ceiling display using the cardboard rolls that come with our bolts of felt.
Lobby Install 2021
For the lobby installation this year, we decided to focus on displaying new and favorite designs, focusing particularly on our residential products.
First, we installed our new wood wall covering, Gradient, on the cube. This is white oak and smoked cork modular wall tile system. It is a bold and graphic look, reimagining what wood walls can be. The cube also features two fun little features that make us smile. The design team planned to sandblast the red paint from “Submaterial” letters in preparation for painting them white, but after taking off the red paint, the result was this beautiful cloudy sort of crystalline letters that we loved and decided to keep. Additionally, a vent in the cube wall needs to be left open. Our design assistant Owen created a matching white oak vent cover with delicate cutouts. The look is simple but purposeful.
Next to the cube is a new felt wall panel called Horizon. Vertical bars of wool felt, organized to draw the eye to a specific point, create the striking surface of the Horizon Wall Panel. The mesmerizing vanishing point is created with the most densely organized felt pieces, like the small crystals at the center of a geode, and the elements grow larger as they move away from the point. This particular rectangular Horizon was created with the darkest tones at the edge of the panel, moving towards lighter tones are the center. The colorway is a rich mix of greens and a pop of white.
Moving over from the wall panel is two of our beautiful new room dividers called Century Screens. Modern yet nostalgic; solid yet see-through these screens elevates any space. Fabricated in rich walnut or white oak veneer laminated with natural cork and hung in tiles of variable length, the elements of the Century Screen are positionable; one can twist and turn the tiles to create the transparency level of their choice. The engaging dimensional surface catches the sunlight and produces dramatic shadows.
The final feature of the lobby display was once again a ceiling installation. Inspired by the design of our Pods, we created a sort of exploded diagram of the pods in a dark heathered gray felt hanging from the ceiling. It creates fun shadows on the lobby walls and a magical little moment as you walk under it and look up!
For those who were unable to join us at the Open House, we hope that you have enjoyed this tour of our 2022 lobby installation. If you find yourself in Albuquerque and are interested in seeing the installation (and the rest of our studio) in person, send us a note at [email protected]!