SITU Fabrication produces and installs a Dev Harlan-designed projection wall in three weeks flat
For Adidas street fashion line Y-3’s 10th anniversary, the company commissioned New York City-based artist Dev Harlan to produce one of his distinctive 3D light installations. Y-3 wanted the installation to serve as a backdrop for a runway show at this September’s New York Fashion Week. Harlan designed a 170-foot-long wall with a deeply textural pattern of 656 skewed pyramids made prismatic by projected colored light and geometric shapes. He called on Brooklyn-based SITU Fabrication to produce and install the work in three weeks flat.
“We had worked with Harlan before on ‘Astral Fissure,’ a sculpture of folded aluminum plates that he projected light on,” said SITU partner Wes Rozen. “This time the budget and timeframe were much less, so we worked with foam core instead of aluminum.”
Harlan designed the projection wall in Maya and then transferred the model to Rhino to break down the 3D geometry into rationalized segments for fabrication. SITU took the Rhino files and developed them into 2D fabrication documents before feeding them into a CNC router, which cut the profiles out of the Ultraboard foam core panels. The fabricators were able to derive clusters of three pyramids from each 4-foot-by-8-foot sheet of foam core. The CNC router, equipped with a 45-degree V bit, also scored the back of the panels so that they could be bent into the 3D pyramid shapes.
“The material is plastic enough that it doesn’t break on the fold,” said Rozen. “You don’t want to bend it back and forth too much, but it’s fine for one bend.” Once bent into shape, the fabricators applied hot glue along the seams to lock the pyramid clusters into place. Once that was done, the lightweight foam pyramids were stacked and then trucked to the site.
In addition to developing the flattened pyramid geometry in the fabrication files, SITU worked out an interlocking tab detail along the edges for the purpose of mounting. Once on site, the team fastened the pyramids to a pre-constructed plywood wall with screws. The pyramids were placed from the bottom up. Once the first course was screwed to the plywood the next higher course was slotted and screwed into place. In all, the 3D projection wall took merely 8 hours to install, all while Harlan and his team worked on overlaying the video projection. See a video of the installation here.