Rip Curl Canyon, 2006
Photo: Nash Baker ©

Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues
Rip Curl Canyon
21 September - 29 October 2006

Rice Gallery is pleased to present a new installation by Los Angeles design team Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, on view September 21 - October 29, 2006. Ball and Nogues trained as architects and use their sense of space and design as well as their formidable construction skills to fabricate installations that transform the way people interact with environments. Using 4000 sheets of precision-cut cardboard, Ball-Nogues will create an inhabitable, rolling landscape that extends from the gallery’s floor to its ceiling.

Rip Curl Canyon is presented in collaboration with The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston exhibition The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890 – 1950, on view at the MFAH, 29 October 2006 – 28 January 2007.

Ball-Nogues have been collaborating for only a year and a half, but already they have gained acclaim, winning an ID Magazine Annual Design Review award for their most recent work, Maximilian’s Schell. A site-specific installation created for the courtyard of Materials and Applications, a Los Angeles research center for landscape and architecture, Maximilian’s Schell was composed of a matrix of 504 triangles made of a reinforced metallic Mylar material and joined together with clear polycarbonate rivets. The resulting golden, tornado-shaped canopy created a quiet enclave where visitors could sit and enjoy the shimmering Mylar’s beautiful shadows, and its UV protection.

Nogues and Ball, who met as students at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Los Angeles, both worked for renowned architect Frank Gehry at Gehry Partners. Nogues worked for eleven years in product design and production where he was known as “the guy who could build anything.” Ball worked with Gehry Partners as a student, then became a set and production designer in the film industry, working on numerous films, the Matrix series among them.

The architects’ work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Architectural Record, Dwell Magazine, Metropolis, and Fabric Architecture, among others.


Benjamin Ball was born in 1968 in Waterloo, Iowa, and moved to Aspen, Colorado at the age of sixteen. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Los Angeles, in 1994 following studies at New College Oxford, United Kingdom (1986), the University of Colorado, Boulder (1986 - 1989), and Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan (1992). While studying for his degree at SCI-Arc, Ball worked with the model team at Frank Gehry and Associates, Santa Monica (1991), on the Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain. Following graduation, Ball worked as a set and production designer, art director, visual consultant, and graphic designer for over 125 films, music videos, and commercials, including the Matrix series. He is currently a principle and designer at Ball-Nogues in Echo Park, Los Angeles.

Gaston Nogues was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1968 and moved to Los Angeles at the age of twelve. He received his Bachelor of Architecture, with a Distinguished Student Award, from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Los Angeles, in 1993. After graduation, he moved directly into a product design and production position with Gehry Partners, LLP. Nogues remained at Gehry Partners until 2005, when he joined Benjamin Ball as a principle and designer at Ball-Nogues in Echo Park, Los Angeles.