The new theatre in the meatpacking district in Copenhagen is a provocation—a place that documents and performs what lies between ‘Sort/Hvid’, meaning Black/White in Danish.
The fundament of the theatre is to develop plays based on our present, as opposed to Shakespeare. On the programme comments on a current political and cultural climate are found; expressed through challenges we face as a nation, a society and as individuals.
At the heart of the theatre is a big room, which needed an engagement, a physical statement as well as a relevant furniture piece, that people would use before and after they enter the play. In the middle, configured as a sculptural seating piece, you find Lobby installed, designed by Bønnelycke Mdd. Rasmus Ibfelt from Danish brand agency, E-types, explains:
‘The big idea of the S/H theatre is to be in doubt, there is never a right and wrong. The Lobby sofa was installed because of its flexible ways. It made sense because you can configure it however you like, introducing a sculpture of shapes in grey, reflecting the ethos and proposition of the theatre.’
There are not many new theatres in Denmark. And while the social spaces used in connection to the stage, foyers and entrance halls, tend to be static and stale the S/H theatre feels bold and contemporary.
‘It is complicated to be a theatre in 2019. S/H needs to be relevant for a young audience, and I think a modern piece of furniture with a strong idea behind it, makes you embrace the entire experience. Part of being a relevant institution today is to look at 360 at your environment, and for the interiors to reflect your ideas,’ says Ibfelt.
The placement of the sofa is poetic, fostering a sense of independent thinking. It is an abstract body that relates to the foundation of the theatre. ‘In our company, everything is translated from the big idea, and the sofa became the main statement as you enter the theatre. With the different grey textures expressed, it becomes more interesting to interact with,’ says Ibfelt.
There are no rules dictating as to how to sit on the Lobby sofa. And in a similar way, S/H is a young vibrant theatre where new concepts are tried and tested. For instance, they recently had a play on that explored trolls on the Internet, ‘The troll S/How.’
‘What S/H does well is to dig into to different tendencies and behaviours in society and translate them into the experiences. With the Lobby sofas, the space has the potential to become a social space, and a cultural meeting place,’ Ibfelt explains.
Stacked, like a sculpture. Bold in the way the theatre is, the sofa mirrors a sense of urgency. S/H is a cultural place and in the context, the Lobby sofa acts as communication in its own right. ‘This sofa, placed in the right context with the right ideas, becomes something that is more than a sofa,’ Ibfelt concludes.
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