Smith|Allen's 3D-printed forest refuge is inspired by the site's patterning and historical cycle of deforestation and regeneration.When Brian Allen and Stephanie Smith first visited the sequoia forest in Gualala, California, they saw patterns everywhere. “We were really intrigued by patterning at many scales, from bark on the trees to light through the trees and also, at a micro scale, [the cells of] the sequioas,” said Allen. Two months later the pair was back, this time with 580 sculptural bricks forming the world’s first 3D-printed architectural installation. Translucent white and 10 by 10 by 8 feet in size, Echoviren resembles a cross between a teepee and a tree stump, a mass made light by the organic porosity of the bricks. Echoviren is intimately tied to its site on the grounds of Project 387, the residency in which Smith|Allen participated last fall. Besides the sequioas’ patterning, the designers drew inspiration from the primitiveness of their surroundings. “The overall form was driven by what is the most basic space we could make,” said Allen. “It turns [out to be] just a small oblong enclosure with an oculus, a small forest hermitage.” The oculus draws the eye up, to the natural roof formed by the sequioas’ branches. In addition, Smith|Allen address the history of the site as a place where regrowth followed the trauma of deforestation. Built of bio-plastic, Echoviren has an estimated lifespan of 30-50 years. “The 50 year decomposition is a beautiful echo of that cycle” of deforestation and resurgence, said Allen. Smith|Allen took a flexible approach to Echoviren’s design, alternating between analog and digital tools. They used tracing paper to extract patterns from photographs of sequoia cells, then trimmed and propagated the patterning by hand. “We initially tried to do it parametrically in Grasshopper, to replicate that cell structure as a generative tool, but we weren’t getting good results,” explained Allen. “For us, the parametric tools were more of a tool set than a generator.” Smith|Allen used KISSlicer to estimate the time required to print Echoviren, 10,800 hours in all. The designers ran seven consumer-grade Type A Machines Series 1 desktop 3D printers for two months straight. They used plant-based PLA bio-plastic, which in addition to being biodegradable, is also readily available. “We wanted to use something commercially available and easy to get our hands on,” said Allen. “The project was not about using inaccessible materials; accessibility gave us the tools to do this.” On-site assembly took four hours. Echoviren is a snap fit system, with dovetail joints in the XY and a pin and socket in the Z. Silicon adhesive secures each layer of bricks to the next. The bottom ring of bricks nestles within a hand-dug trench. Pyramidal in section, Echoviren is a compression structure. Its components vary in thickness from 6-8 inches at the bottom to less than an inch at the top. For Smith and Allen, the magic of Echoviren is twofold. First is the anticipation of the future, of the way the form will change as it decomposes. Just as important is how the installation came to be, how the technology of 3D printing enabled a firm of two to build Echoviren in less than a season. “As young designers, we struggle with getting our work out there and getting it built,” said Allen. “Using 3D printers, we’re able to really increase the amount of stuff we can do in a given time and transition it from a tool of prototyping and model building into real things.”
Posts tagged with "Installations":
Architect Elena Manferdini Completes the Colorful, Laser-Cut "Nembi" Installation in South Los Angeles
Until recently, talented Los Angeles–based architect Elena Manferdini had practiced all over the world, but barely in her own city. That has definitely changed. Earlier this year she worked on two shops in Venice, and her latest project is an art installation at the entry way of the Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center in South Los Angeles. The colorful project is part of the LA County Art Commission's Civic Art project, a one percent program for county facilities. Italian for “clouds,” Nembi wraps the entry's concrete wall, folds back onto the ceiling, and then folds onto the front facade. Made up of laser-cut, powder-coated aluminum panels over an aluminum frame, its colorful bands riff on the green strip on the building's facade; and its cloud-like shapes were inspired by the county's desire to lift peoples' spirits in a place that can often be depressing. The forms themselves emerged from a series of drawings produced by a script tracing and linking variable radii. Areas of the artwork were perforated to filter the light coming from the existing light fixtures. Manferdini is continuing with her LA momentum. She's now working on Inverted Landscapes, a set of two larger installations for the San Fernando Valley Family Center. "I’m quite happy about working in LA," she said. "All of my projects were so far away; I never got the chance to nurture them."
Artists Dan Havel and Dean Ruck of Havel Ruck Projects have garnered attention for some interesting installation pieces in Houston, blurring the lines between art and architecture. Over the last eight years, the collaboration has constructed temporary artworks using old, wooden homes, bizarre shows of simultaneous deconstruction and reconstruction of architecture. Inversion from 2005 recreates two wood bungalows, donated to the artists by Art League Houston, into a vortex of white wooden planks. In 2010, the Houston Art Alliance sponsored Havel Ruck Projects’s creation of Fifth Ward Jam. A wooden home doomed for refuse in Houston’s 5th Ward became an imaginative community stage of vertically spewed boards.
As dusk shrouded Lower Manhattan in darkness last night, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum extended an 88-cannon salute to those whose lives were indelibly-changed by the events of September 11, 2001. Now in its 12th year, the Tribute in Light sent two high-intensity beams of light four miles up into the night sky in a poignant memorial marking the absence of the original Twin Towers. Several dozen onlookers including victims' family members and city officials watched the beams emanate from the top of a parking structure just blocks from Ground Zero in a solemn expression of remembrance. Last night's light show marks the second year the 9/11 Memorial has produced the Tribute in Light. "It makes total sense for us to be custodians of the memorial. It makes sense as a museum to curate this as a piece of our extended collection," said Ryan Pawling, assistant director for public programs at the 9/11 Memorial. "It's a symbol of New York and of the resilience of New Yorkers after the attack." The Tribute in Light concept was imagined immediately following the attacks in 2001 as a group of architects and artists organized by the Municipal Art Society (MAS) and Creative Time, a non-profit devoted to public art and was first displayed on the six month anniversary of the attacks. Designers included John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian Laverdiere, and Paul Myoda with lighting consultant Paul Marantz. MAS continued the show annually through the tenth anniversary in 2011. "Most people see the beacons from far away. Not a lot of New Yorkers know the high-tech design that goes into putting on the show," Pawling said. The technology behind the Tribute in Light and skill required to pull it off are as impressive as the display itself. During the previous week a team from lighting design studio Fisher Marantz Stone worked tirelessly to align the 88 Italian-made light cannons—each equipped with a 7,000-watt xenon light bulb—to create the dual beacons. While the official Tribute in Light was only one night, New Yorkers for miles around could see the beams at night as crews traveled ten to fifteen miles away in several directions to ensure the beacons were plumb. Pawling said each cannon had to be individually aligned—beginning with the corners of each of the squares—to ensure the light beams point directly skyward with one unified glow. The cannons were adjusted fractions of a degree using specialized mounting gear that miles up in the sky accounts for a wide berth. If the lights are not all in sync, the beacons would appear fuzzy from far away. The group brought in observers from the Audubon Society to help mitigate the effects of the lights on the migratory patterns on birds. Pawling said the time of year and New York's geography makes it a prime route for birds, and that while the city itself with its ample night lighting can cause problems for the birds, the Tribute in Light hopes to steer clear of the birds. For instance, Pawling said the light show was turned off last year for two twenty minute periods to allow flocks to pass through without distraction. By taking the reigns from MAS, the Museum was able to gain around $300,000 in funding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) to put on the Tribute in Light. LMDC's three-year grant, reallocated from unused transportation funds, extends through next year. With the LMDC phasing out its role in coming years, funding sources for the Tribute in Light will need to be found elsewhere, likely from private sources. Pawling said the museum has not begun exploring new funding options but will meet with various groups in the coming year to help determine the future of the display. All photos by Branden Klayko / AN.
Things didn't work out for installation experts Ball-Nogues Studio at MOCA's New Sculpturalism show, but the firm has rebounded nicely. They've just completed mounting one of their most ambitious works yet: a 70-foot-tall upside-down replica of William Pereira's Transamerica Pyramid, for the show Modernist Maverick: The Architecture of William Pereira, on view at the Nevada Art Museum in Reno, NV. The installation, made out of chain link and stainless steel plates, hangs from the ceiling via steel cables attached to the museum building's structure. "We distilled it to its barest essentials. It looks like the ghost of the building," said Ball-Nogues principal Gaston Nogues. Each chain could only be attached at a specific point, so the hardest part was fine tuning the model, stretching and moving each possible iteration, added Nogues. "It's quite labor intensive to make sure it looked flat, and that each chain had the right tension," he said. The show, which opens next week, runs from through October 13. It looks at many other noted Pereira projects, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the University of California, San Diego Geisel Library, and the Theme Building at LAX.
The more we are accustomed to seeing something the less likely we are to appreciate its beauty. But not Karlis Rekevics, an emerging New York-based artist who creates complex white plaster sculptures that engage with the built environment and capture an often-overlooked urban landscape. Rekevics was selected as this year’s winner of the annual Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award. Clare Weiss, the former Public Art Curator for Parks, curated over 100 outdoor public art installations throughout the city. After her death in 2010 the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award was established to honor her memory. The $10,000 award is granted annually to one emerging artist who practices in a neighborhood typically underserved by public art. Rekevics was recognized for his All-Too-Familiar-Tangle, a sculpture that was built specifically for Tappen Park and honors the architectural history of Stapleton, Staten Island, an underdeveloped suburban neighborhood that is a mere twenty five minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan. In creating the sculpture Rekevics was inspired by the local architectural elements surrounding Tappen Park that people rarely pay attention to. After carefully studying the different architectural forms, or the bones, that make up the suburban borough, like bridge supports, store facades, guardrails, signs, and scaffolding, he built a series of plywood molds and filled them with cast hydrocal (white gypsum cement) on site. Rekevics commented in a statement, “While the sculptures take their starting point from real places, they are more about the way that memory and my improvisational process transforms them into a new place with a physical and metaphorical language.” Rather than take identical cast molds of the forms Rekevics constructs them from memory; the outcome is a fragmented, subjective perception of the original form. Rekevics then "tangles" the imperfect pieces together to form a single sculpture. Park visitors might see All-Too-Familiar Tangle and be reminded of things that they know they've seen but can't quite put their finger on, like the wooden bollards lining the coast near the Staten Island Ferry, the neo-classical limestone columns and rounded portico entryway of the Staten Island Savings Bank on Water Street, and the dormer window details from the park’s historic Village Hall. Rekevic's inventive sculpture is a rare celebration of Staten Island's architectural history. The sculpture will be on view in Tappen Park until June 2014.
If you drop by the Cleveland Public Library to get lost in a book, you may find reprieve from modern life outside the library’s walls, thanks to a giant reading nest custom designed by New York artist Mark Reigelman and LAND Studio. The installation is the fourth in a series, called "See Also," which brings public art to the library's Eastman Reading Garden. It will be in place through October 18. The whirlwind of 10,000 palette boards and two-by-fours comprise a roost 13 feet tall and 36 feet across, reinforced with steel cable. Made from reclaimed wood from industrial sites in the Cleveland area, the nest creates an intimate, sheltered environment for reading or for staring at the perfectly framed sky.
New York City-based artists and architects Jieun Yang and Ji Young Kim have secured a spot in First Park, located between East First and Houston Streets near Second Avenue, for a futuristic Urban Forest as part of the 2013 Public Summer installation program, overseen by contemporary architecture group SUPERFRONT. According to the group, "This program is sponsored every year by SUPERFRONT to provide an opportunity for young and emerging designers to produce a temporary installation in New York City while also fostering a community conversation about architecture and design." On May 19, SUPERFRONT in partnership with First Street Green hosted a competition to decide which artwork would occupy the space this summer. Although still awaiting approval from the Parks Department, the winning design will likely be installed from July through August and will be open to the public on the weekends. Urban Forest replaces tree trunks with mirrored poles and leaves with transparent panels to represent and reflect the movement and public exchange of the park’s visitors. First Street Green co-director Silva Ajemian explains that there is a “piece at the very top of each pole that is lightly held to the post so it waves a little bit with the air and atmosphere.” The project emphasizes the intimacy of physical contact and draws attention to the urban and community context. Yang and Kim’s installation will serve as a stage for events such as workshops, lectures and meetings managed by First Street Green. The temporary art project is flexible in that it can be raised to different heights. The site of First Park was, up until a couple years ago, an unused lot inhabited by rats. In 2011 the Guggenheim Museum brought its traveling “lab” to the park and the space has been transformed into a functional public space that serves the Lower East Side community. SUPERFRONT will plan events themed to the artwork and the concept of “urban movement.” The installation will be presented to Community Board 3 on June 13 and will require final approval from the New York City Parks Department.
While you might not make a habit of visiting parking lots for the fun of it, if you haven't been to SCI-Arc's parking lot lately, you're missing out. Installations dot a big chunk of the concrete expanse, including Oyler Wu's billowing Storm Cloud installation, which was built for the school's recent graduation; the steel frame of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S's gigantic League of Shadows installation, which will be done by September, and the wooden frame of DALE, SCI-Arc and Caltech's entry for the Solar Decathalon, which is being held this year at the Orange County Great Park. DALE, which measures about 600 square feet, has now been outfitted with steel tracks so that it can open up on wheels and provide outdoor spaces, including a small yard and even a reflecting pool. The furniture inside the net-zero home will also move to create varied spatial arrangements and configurations. DALE will be completed by September, then it will be reassembled at the Great Park by October 3. Some staff and students have complained about the lack of parking at SCI-Arc right now, which is understandable. But we hope this will become a regular attraction. Maybe they'll build a parking structure and make the whole parking lot an architectural display space someday?
Trade shows are no longer simply product exhibitions: Education and networking sessions have become essential components to a show’s success. Coverings has expanded this formula to include installation vignette’s that, built over the course of four days during the show, demonstrate the versatility and variety of applications for ceramic tile. The Installation Design Showcase has paired four local, Atlanta-based design firms with four installation teams that have achieved the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Five Star Recognition, and have been certified by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation. Now in its fifth year, the teams will produce a bar/lounge; a hotel lobby; an in-patient room in a women’s birthing center; and a master bathroom, all designed to demonstrate the design possibilities of tile and stone. “These rooms are not all settings in which you would necessarily expect to see tile,” said Bart Bettiga, executive director, NTCA. “Above all, the Showcase highlights just how important the ongoing designer/installer partnership is to a successful project. Bringing the field to life in this way is another example of what makes Coverings a unique and valuable experience.” Bar/Lounge Michael Nieswander and Margaret Nysewander, ASD Inc. In the Bar/Lounge installation (above), designer Nysewander has called a bar of red tiles from Ceramics of Italy manufacturers “a conceptual art piece.” Highlighting the installation strengths of Rimrock Design, the bar’s design calls for varying cuts in the tile to produce unique textures across the surface. The lounge walls are clad in large-format, gray tiles with MAPEI installation products. Hotel Lobby Foreman Rogers and Allison Isaacs, tvsdesign For designers accustomed to working on large hotel lobbies such as the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner Hotel and the Gaylord Nashville, their challenge was to recreate spacious grandeur on a smaller scale. Using Plane, a 5- by 10-foot engineered porcelain ceramic wall panel from StonePeak Ceramics, the team recreates the luxury of Calacatta Borghini marble with a more thin, lightweight, and monolithic material at a fraction of the cost. A team of installers from C.C. Owen Tile Company, Inc. worked with the latest in large format tiles. Glass and mirror tile from Traditions in Tile are secured with TEC installation materials. In-patient Room in a Women’s Birthing Center Mary Porter and Craig Anderchak, VeenendaalCave Healthcare Italian wall tile that mimics a lightly colored fabric invokes serenity and relaxation, along with a warm, wood-look porcelain tile for the floor. “The porcelain tile from Italy will work well with the walls,” said Mary Porter. The David Allen Company set the porcelain with Strata Mat, a new coupling membrane from LATICRETE that creates a barrier between the tile and concrete for crack isolation protection essential to healthcare facilities. Master Bathroom Mark Williams, Mark Williams Design Associates Timely invocation of a 1920s Gatsby aesthetic coincides with Baz Luhrmann’s film release to define a masculine master bath with Art Deco undertones. Products from the Noble Company, TOTO, and Crossville are combined to create neutral walls, blue glass tile accents, and a herringbone-patterned floor. "We used color where we want you to look," Williams said. Collins Tile and Stone set Crossville’s ultra thin Laminam wall tile with MAPEI installation materials.
A new permanent work by Berlin-based artist Aram Bartholl at the Thomas Leeser-designed Museum of The Moving Image in Queens, New York bridges the gap between digital and physical space, challenging the intangibility of today’s world of cloud computing and instant downloads by adding a sense of materiality to data-transfer. Engaging a medium that is quickly becoming as outdated as the Laser Disc, DVD Dead Drop, a slot-loading DVD burner embedded in the exterior wall of the museum is ready to burn you a hand-picked digital art exhibition, media collection, or another piece computerized content curated by Bartholl. Just insert a blank DVD-R, and let the art begin. DVD Dead Drop is a continuation of Bartholl’s original Dead Drops series, which brought peer-to-peer, offline file-sharing to public spaces around the world through unauthorized USB drives cemented into walls, poles, curbs and houses. While Dead Drops was a read-and-write system, allowing users to upload and download content to the drives, DVD Dead Drop is a one-way street, curated, automated, and prone to technical problems. (The museum notes that if your DVD does not burn properly, don’t worry, a fragile piece of machinery like a DVD burner is bound to run into some problems when it is kept outdoors 24-7.) Through May 7, the installation offers "Vertical Video," a one-hour collection of amateur videos taken with a vertical aspect ratio. Check here to see what may end up on your DVD, and here to find out where you can find a Dead Drop near you.
Before there was the Kindle and the Sony Reader, there were paperback novels, newspapers, magazines, made of tangible materials, like paper and ink. One could ride the subway and sneak a glimpse into the mind of his fellow passengers without ever exchanging a word; the title printed on the cover of the book you were reading might reveal volumes about your interests and curiosities. With the invasion of e-books and e-readers, there is just no way to tell what people are reading these days. Designers Brian W. Bush and Yong Ju Lee of E/B Office New York changed that with their Filament Mind installation that debuted in late January at the grand opening of the Teton County Library in Jackson, Wyoming. Filament Mind is a complex and intricately crafted ceiling installation comprised of over 1,000 fiber-optic cables (totaling over 5 miles) and 44 LED illuminators connected to data processing systems in libraries all across the state of Wyoming. The cables, which are categorized according to the Dewey Decimal System, continuously flash different colors according to the specific words and subjects (for example: “landscape architecture” or “computer methods”) that people enter into the library search system. As users click into different categories and explore new content, the cables burst into an array of colors, making for a truly interactive user experience. With this larger-than-life sized installation Brush and Lee have not only created a visually stunning experience but have also presented library visitors with a unique opportunity to communicate with one another, share and exchange ideas, and inspire each other to delve into subjects that might normally be off their radar. Additionally, the artists honor the donors who funded the project by equipping the installation with a “donor mode.” Periodically the cables will burst into a brilliant light show, randomly glowing from green to pink to blue to yellow. The effect of this technologically detailed installation provides library visitors with a seemingly magical light show that has encouraged people from all across the state to make a trip to the library. “It’s the heart of the community, it’s where people come to share their ideas, and to explore new things to enrich their lives,” says artist Brian Brush. [Via Wired.]