gallery by The Editors

Rethinking spaces through design.

reading time 9 minutes

Architect Cyril Lancelin used to realize other people’s building ideas, while designing his own imaginary spaces and houses on the side. When he started sharing these incredible renderings online, the response was overwhelming — so striking are the spaces of his imagination. This soon translated into the creation and exhibition of his first large scale installation, Knot, in Hangzhou, China, late last year, and several upcoming projects in the United States. Below Lancelin explains his process and shares a selection of his bold installations and houses. They offer a glimpse of how one great imagination could change the way we use space.

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I used to work for other architects, and I didn’t always have the creative input I would have liked. But I had another choice, which was to make renderings of fictional projects. Suddenly there was no pressure and no limits.

I started putting them on Instagram. Then one day I became one of Instagram’s “daily picks.” That day, I got thousands of followers and dozens emails from people who wanted to develop my projects. It was like stuffing something in a bottle and someone suddenly opening it. Over night, my images were all over the world.

This brought me the invitation to make “Knot” for the Asia Design Management Forum in Hangzhou, China. The idea behind it was simple: it is a trefoil knot, a line that never ends or touches at any point. The goal was to fill the space with a vertical labyrinth made of inflatable rubber. The exhibition was incredible. People were so bewildered. They were shooting pictures and losing their friends.

My work is simple but complex in another way. I use parametric tools. It’s all about finding the right scale. All my designs are ready to be made. I look forward to seeing more of them realized.

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