Haus-Rucker-Co.'s Yellow Heart for Two

Haus-Rucker-Co.'s Yellow Heart for Two

Yellow Heart by Haus-Rucker Co.

Yellow Heart (Vienna, 1968); weekend house for two, pneumatic welded PVC foils, electric pulsating units; designed by Laurids, Zamp, Pinter for Haus-Rucker-Co.; 13' x 10 1/2' x 11 1/2'

In fall of 1968, the Museum of Contemporary Crafts presented "Plastic as Plastic," an ambitious exhibition of objects created from plastic materials of varying textures, densities, strengths, and colors. The purpose of the show was to celebrate the use of plastic from a design - rather than technological - point of view. Objects featured in the exhibit ranged from bracelets and body coverings to toys, furniture, and even cars.

Around the time planning for "Plastic as Plastic" was underway, the Austrian group Haus-Rucker-Co., composed of architects and artists in Vienna, was experimenting with new design technologies and the interaction of the naturally grown and artificially generated worlds. The result of Haus-Rucker-Co.'s creative investigations was a series of conceptual devices meant to provide unique and participatory sensorial experiences for the museum goer. As Haus-Rucker-Co. expanded its presence to New York, the group was invited to show its pneumatic and pulsating polyvinyl chloride weekend house Yellow Heart as an example of plastic architectural exploration in "Plastic as Plastic."       

The founders of Haus-Rucker-Co., who now run the firm Ortner & Ortner, describe Yellow Heart as follows: 

"The idea that a concentrated experience of space could offer a direct approach to changes in consciousness led to the construction of a pneumatic space capsule, called the 'Yellow Heart.' Through a lock made of three air rings, one arrived at a transparent plastic mattress. Offering just enough space for two people, it projected into the centre of a spherical space that was made up of soft, air-filled chambers. Lying there one could perceive that the air-filled "pillows," whose swelling sides almost touched one, slowly withdrew, that is to say the surrounding space appeared to expand, finally forming a translucent sphere and then, in a reverse motion, flowed out again. Large dots arranged in a grid on the outer and inner surfaces of the air-shells changed in rhythmic waves from milky patches to a clear pattern. The space pulsated at extended intervals."

Throwback Thursday is a weekly series highlighting visuals from the American Craft Council Library's Digital Collections Database. Check back on Thursdays for more.