The project of VITRIOL is an object as architecturally ubiquitous from early buildings to contemporary austere design – a box. Its selection is predetermined to allow for traditional stacking and piling.

Moreover, the material chosen is concrete, another prosaic element widely found. Concrete, however, is a good candidate for resonance, or vibrations conducted within its mass. This resonance may be exposed as sound by sinking piezoelectric contact sensors into its body.

But VITRIOL (Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Inyenes Omnia Lapidem, or, In the Interior of the Earth is hidden the True Mystery) speaks to a greater Ur-obsession with the deep. From the Underworld myth to the very recent theory of the Hollow Earth, the human curiosity of the interior, the hidden and profound, has compelled unusual activity. 

For the VITRIOL, designed, fabricated and displayed in the NUMA Gallery in Bangalore, gallery visitor would approach a 1m cube in the center of the exterior sculpture courtyard. With openings that mimic the slots in the courtyard walls, they allow for glimpses and hands to enter. What is partially revealed is a soft, textured interior scented by spice and greasy with oil. Lit by an unknown light source, the visitor is initially unaware of the vibrations being tracked by the concrete. As they continue to interact with the box with a grotto-like space, the sounds emanating from a speaker are understood as their actions upon the world, 

Project: Simon Kim, Mariana Ibañez

Design Team: Alex Timmer, Gary Polk, Sujith Sugathan

India Team: Barani P Karthik, Deepika Raghu, Prabhat Arora, IG Faizunsha, Ranjitha K, Rohan Sampat, Rohak Shah, Ronit Biswas, Sneha Vivek, Shruthy, Shalvi Shah

Supported by: Huddle, Mosaic of Episodes, Bangalore and the Indian Association of Architects, Karnataka Chapter