“Arlecchino,” the colorful, floral-patterned architectural installation adorning the wall and floor of the College of Architecture’s Azimuth Cafe, has helped earn its designer, Los Angeles artist Elena Manferdini, a $50,000 United States Artists Fellowship.
The installation was designed by the artist and fabricated by students at the college’s Digital Fabrication Facility during a spring 2011 Artist in Residence workshop lead by Manferdini. An integral part of the work she produced this year, she said the wall is featured with her USArtist Fellowship announcement on the organization’s website.
The fabrication work involved cutting and bending the sculpture’s stylized aluminum flower petals using the CNC router, metal break and other tools available to students at the college’s Riverside Campus facility, or Architecture Ranch. Once the pieces were shaped and painted, Eugene Kosgoron, a representative from Manferdini’s firm, and Jim Titus, the college’s woodshop supervisor, helped students install the piece on a wall and floor of the Azimuth in what became a challenging three-day chore.
USArtist Fellows are nominated an anonymous group of arts leaders, critics, scholars and artists who live in every U.S. state and work across virtually every artistic discipline. They are selected by discipline-specific peer panels of leading artists and art experts who review the nominations and forward finalists to the USA board of directors, who approve the final recommendations.
Each year, 50 USA grants of $50,000 each are awarded to outstanding performing, visual media and literary artists.
Manferdini, founder of Atelier Manferdini, a firm specializing in the cutting edge of computer-aided design of exotic forms, is an architect, engineer, industrial designer, fashion designer, and teacher.
She applies construction techniques from the engineering field to design clothing, products, and buildings in product designs with companies including Moroso, Nike, and Alessi. She is also on the faculty of the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.