A & M (Department of Proper Behaviour)

ArchiNed’s very last Summer tip for this year. Dominik Holzer (Alsop Architects Rotterdam) was involved in the realisation of the Department of Proper Behaviour for the Bienal in Valencia which is still on show till September 30th.

Valencia is one of Europe's fastest growing cities and has witnessed an enormous boost in cultural and architectural activities over the last few years. In order to put Valencia internationally on the map, the city has organized an 'Arts and Architecture Biennale' for the second time this year. The group of participants include a luminous range of artists from around the world, headed by the English architect Will Alsop, who curates the 'Department of Proper Behaviour' together with artist Bruce McLean.

A & M (Department of Proper Behaviour) is a shop of experience where items can be purchased, but more importantly the place becomes a part of the day. A place to spend time, whether hunting or not. A place where you can sit down and talk. A place that celebrates the artisan as well as the artist. A place of proper service. A place where everything is unique and most importantly a place where ideas, objects and behaviours can be tested, and if necessary can fail with dignity.

The courtyard of a gothic cloister has been transformed into an imaginary department store. A temporary freestanding 18x18x7m structure houses the store. All sub-departments have a unique character and differ in appearance. The aim is to trigger interest in participating. The exhibition plays with the role of the visitor as consumer and forces him/her to interact with the environment.

You become a dancer, a voyeur, or an actor – smoking a fat cigar and drinking whisky. You find yourself on a scribble-sofa eating sausage, on an air mattress bombarded by jokes, or between the lines of a poem.

This shop has nothing to do with the phrases 'Shop till you Drop' or 'Born to Shop', it is not concerned with mediocrity or price, it is a place to furnish dreams.