Garage Exchange: SPAN (Matias del Campo and Sandra Manninger) and Jay Yan

  • Exhibition
  • Garage Exchange
This exhibition has been extended through Saturday, January 26th.

1137 S Cochran Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

SPAN’s installation, Augmentations of the Real, presented itself as an occasion to interrogate the opportunities that augmented reality present for the discipline of architecture. The notion is discussed from different angles, from aspects of the enhancement of spatial experiences to aspects of AR as an agent of culture. Special attention is given to the way these techniques seamlessly fuse aspects of visual culture with considerations of materialism. Augmented reality, per se, is defined by the application of metaphoric gestures as an interface between the material and the symbolic realms of computational environments. In this sense, AR applications propose a synthetic ecology—primarily defined by their inherent properties such as simulation, enhancement, and intelligence gathering—an overlap of two levels of information, physical and computational.

Augmentations of the Real is embedded in speculative territory: moments of uncertainty collide with aspects of precision and control, and AR thus negotiates multiple experience levels and allows for new potentialities in contemporary ornamentation. The installation intends to add to the “post-digital” discourse in this current era of architecture, where computational tools are part of the normal reality and other aspects of digital design are positioned centerstage; however, the tools are not the main actors, rather the cultural agency produced by those tools.

In conjunction with SPAN’S Augmentations of the Real, artist Jay Yan’s installation, I didn’t say I was ugly, I said I was fat, was also be on view in the Garage Top. His work explores the relationship between body aesthetics and the ideal amalgam of form and function in modern design. SPAN and Yan have remained in dialog since first meeting during the architects’ MAK Center residency in Los Angeles in 2007.


SPAN Architects was founded by Matias del Campo and Sandra Manninger in Vienna 2003. Their intensive interrogation of contemporary moods is fueled by the opulent repertoires of synthetic ecologies, cutting-edge technologies and philosophical inquiry, together forming a comprehensive body of work. SPAN gained wide recognition for its winning competition entry for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, as well as the new Brancusi Museum in Paris. The practice’s work was featured at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale; ArchiLab 2013 at the FRAC Centre, Orleans; the 2008 and 2010 Architecture Biennales in Beijing; and in a 2011 solo show Formations at the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna They both are members of the faculty of the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan and visiting faculty at PennDesign, University of Pennsylvania.

Jay Yan was born in Shanghai and is based in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from the UCLA in 2012. Yan has shown at Gallery Urbane, Dallas; Design Matters and Telic Gallery, Los Angeles; among others. In 2011, the City of El Paso commissioned Yan for a piece titled Sleeping Giant, where the artist created a video of himself attempting to sleep in a twenty-seven-inch box, then projected it to fill an entire architectural façade 1:1. His work is often about the aesthetics of the body and its relationship to architecture and design. In 2015, Yan met his girlfriend and has subsequently gained a few pounds.


In order to expand the cultural exchange at the core of the Artists and Architects-in-Residence program, the Austrian Federal Chancellery and the MAK Center invite Austrian and Vienna-based alumni residents to collaborate with L.A. artists and architects of their choosing at the Garage Top at the Mackey Apartments for the Garage Exchange Vienna-Los Angeles exhibition series.

This exhibition series is made possible by the Austrian Federal Chancellery.

This project was also supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.