In the proper context, one object can completely transform into something else. Work by Argentina-based Estudio Normal is an awe-inspiring example of this phenomenon. The multidisciplinary architecture and design office created a sculpture titled Capot (Spanish for a car hood) at the center of Lollapalooza 2023 in Buenos Aires. Although at first glance it appears as a giant pine cone, the entire form was created using 95 hoods from Volkswagen Golf vehicles.
Capot is a towering sculpture that was a beacon for festivalgoers to gather during Lollapalooza. It had seating areas—both on the ground and as car hood benches—while acting as a unique and creative backdrop among the crowds and other goings on. Sometimes it was kept unlit and showed off its white and blue scalloped edges, while at night it was illuminated with a bright ultramarine and teal glow. The former allowed viewers to enjoy its finer details while the latter showcased its monumental collective shape.
The fabrication of the work was built with sustainability in mind. The sculpture harvested existing resources, using what was already produced and reimagining it in new and exciting ways. But there was also the question of what happened to the sculpture when its exhibition was over. For that, the design team implemented a “catch and release” that allowed most of the manufacturing pieces to return to the production line and lessen the environmental impact.
Capot is the first in Estudio Normal's formal research project titled Autopartes. Inspired by the automobile industry—a vital part of Argentina’s national economy—it explores new ways to transform everyday objects by way of design and offer them a second life.