Posts tagged with "Installations":

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Wendy Arrives in Queens

Last night, crowds of young architecture types filled the courtyard at MoMA PS1 in Queens to meet Wendy, this year's Young Architects Program winner by HWKN. Visible from the nearby elevated subway station and from the streets around MoMA PS1, Wendy is comprised of pollution-fighting fabric spikes set in a grid of scaffolding intersecting the concrete courtyard walls. Yesterday's crowds were given special access to the interior of the installation, revealing a complex structure of poles, fans, and misters that will cool visitors this summer. MoMA PS1 will host its annual Warm Up music series in the courtyard beginning on July 7, showcasing "the best in experimental live music, sound, performance, and DJs." Wendy will officially open to the public on July 1. Meanwhile, at a taxi garage across the street, small fragments of last year's installation by Interboro called Holding Pattern are still in use on the sidewalk. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
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A Spinning Piper Seneca Lands in Central Park

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's actually a plane. On the corner of 60th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan, a six-seat, twin-engine Piper Seneca aircraft balances on two vertical steel posts positioned at the end of its wings, playfully rotating on its own axis and likely confusing visitors to Central Park. After doing a double take on the surreal scene, find a plaque located nearby and you'll learn that this mysterious aircraft is actually an installation by artist Paola Pivi, whose portfolio includes scenes of zebras on snowy mountaintops and arenas of screaming people. Working with the Public Art Fund, an organization dedicated to present artists’ work throughout New York City, Paola Pivi opened her newest installation featuring the Piper Seneca, How I Roll last Wednesday, June 20th. Like much of Paola Pivi's work, How I Roll challenges the onlookers to broaden their imagination and perceive something that's usually inconceivable in reality. Frozen in a continuous loop-the-loop at ground level, the aircraft dismisses its own identity as a flying machine, floating and spinning effortlessly on the edge of the park. By ignoring its own gargantuan weight and the context of flying high in the sky, plane becomes an object, a sculpture, perhaps finally linking industrial design and sculpture. Just take a look at it spinning in the video above, or, even better, get your own in-person dose of surrealism by visiting Pivi's How I Roll any time day or night through August 26th.
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Meet Wendy, HWKN’s pollutant-fighting pavilion at MoMA PS1

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Wendy will eat the smog of the equivalent of 260 cars this summer

"I cannot wait for the data to come in so we can show people," said Matthias Hollwich, a principal of the Manhattan-based architecture firm HWKN. Hollwich is talking about the air quality monitoring system that will be hooked up to Wendy, the 3,000 square-foot star-shaped pavilion HWKN is currently installing in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 for the annual Young Architect's Program. Because PS1's Kraftwerk exhibition occupied the museum's courtyard until May 14th, HWKN only had six weeks to build Wendy, which will not only house a pool, a misting station, a water canon, an elevated dj booth and an exhibition space, it will "eat" smog all summer long thanks to a special little ingredient called TiO2. Developed by Cristal, a titanium dioxide products manufacturer, and Glen Finkel at PURETi, TiO2 is a titanium nanoparticle that, when activated by the sun, engages in photocatalytic oxidation, a chemical process that safely and instantly oxidizes organic matter at the molecular level and converts it into water vapor and trace amounts of CO2.  Since TiO2 is the catalyst, it's not consumed in the process. When it's applied to a building, a road or, in this case, a huge outdoor pavilion, its smog-fighting properties last for a minimum of five years. And because the water vapor washes away, the treated surfaces stay dramatically cleaner than their untreated counterparts. There are several brands of titanium dioxide coating on the market, but Finkel claims that PURETi's award-winning formula is the best because it doesn't come from a powder that’s mixed in or melted down, but from a liquid (99% water, 1% mineral content) so thin, clear and durable it can bond to virtually any surface, including fabric, glass and stone. It also requires less light to function than any known competitor, and is the only photocatalytic surface treatment known to work on the north side of a building in the shade. To maximize the surface area onto which TiO2 can be sprayed, HWKN created an intricate cluster of pointed shapes and employed structural engineers from Knippers Helbig, who worked for one month to develop a "totally reinvented" cross bracing system to hold the shape of the TiO2-treated PVC-based fabric from Botex(they were originally going to use nylon but it sags over time). “Normally when you have tensile structures it has a curve, and that has been done,” said Hollwich. “We wanted to do something formally different, so the cones are wrapped around the cross bracing which gives it its stealth form.” Surrounding Wendy with scaffolding was an aesthetic choice as much as it was a structural necessity. "The fabric is being pulled from the core to the edges and to be able to hold that edge we needed the scaffolding. The form of Wendy is also the structural system.” The whole framework is held in place by forty 5-foot-long temporary ground screws by Krinner that can be unscrewed in September when the pavilion is taken down. Using an equation based on the amount of nano particles sprayed onto Wendy, the estimated sun exposure and the average pollutants generated by local Long Island City traffic, HWKN calculated that over the course of the summer Wendy's paint job will clean up pollutants from the equivalent of 260 cars. If it sounds too good to be true, the only downside of TiO2 seems to be that it's expensive, though a little bit does go a long way—one gallon can cover 4,000 square feet. Still, at 70 cents per square-foot it's no surprise that Pureti's main clients aren't homeowners, but NASA and other large institutions like Los Angeles Community College, the 2015 Milan Expo, and office buildings in London. Hollwich sayid he's "surprised that the whole world isn't using it, because it's really magical," adding that he hopes the high visibility of Wendy will encourage more people to use TiO2 in everything from buildings and roads to textiles. In fact, MoMA will be selling t-shirts and totes sprayed down with TiO2, and after the summer programming is over Wendy herself will be cut apart and sewn into smog-fighting bags.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Set to Sparkle with Massive Lighting Display

Video rendering of the Bay Lights (courtesy TBL)  “What if the West Span [of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge] wasn't a bridge and instead were a canvas?” asked Ben Davis, founder of creative agency Words Pictures Ideas and man behind the The Bay Lights (TBL) some time ago. That question soon became the foundation for San Francisco’s latest high-tech public art project that’s got even Silicon Valley abuzz. With the support of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and major Silicon Valley bigwigs, TBL is planning to put up an ethereal light show 1.5 miles wide and 230 feet high covering the west span of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. “The Bay Bridge slipped into her sexy sister's shadow and silently slogged for nearly 75 years. With her diamond anniversary upon us, I wanted to give the gray lady a moment to sparkle again,” said Davis. Developed by American artist Leo Villareal, the installation, targeted to start at the end of this year, definitely won't lack sparkle. The project comprises 25,000 individually programmable LED lights set to produce abstract patterns inspired by the bridge's surroundings. When finished, the two-year light show will be seven times the scale of the Eiffel Tower’s 100th anniversary lighting display. Not to worry though, motorists, no need for sunglasses while driving at night; Davis said the LEDs will be set one foot apart and “placed on the outside of the two-and-a-quarter inch vertical suspension cables, facing away from drivers,” effectively making them invisible to the bridge’s commuters. But before the Golden Gate gets its silvery sister, TBL needs to raise $1.8 million by July 1. The project has already raised $5.2 million in gifts and pledges thanks in part to a Tech Challenge it launched last May. High-tech investors include angel investor Ron Conway, tech investor Adam Gross, and Wordpress Founder Matt Mullenweg. If you want to add to the pot, support the project on Causes.
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Oyler Wu’s “Screenplay” Installation

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The firm continues its exploration of creating complex shapes with rope

The West Coast’s design show Dwell on Design brings tens of thousands of visitors to the Los Angeles Convention center for three days of modern design each summer. This year, the show commissioned a project from Oyler Wu Collaborative, the LA-based architecture firm of Jenny Wu and Dwayne Oyler. The most recent of seven installations (including "Netscape," the SCI-Arc 2011 graduation pavilion) that the duo has designed since 2007, "Screenplay" is a 22-foot-long, 9-foot-high steel frame over which is woven an impossibly complex web of silver polypropylene rope.
  • Fabricator Oyler Wu Collaborative
  • Architect Oyler Wu Collaborative
  • Location Los Angeles, California
  • Status In progress
  • Materials Steel, silver polypropylene rope
  • Process Digital design, physical modeling, steel fabrication, rope installation
As with all of their installations, "Screenplay" would involve a large degree of hand fabrication in its final stage. "While fabricating our own design started as a necessity in order to control cost, we have continued to do it as a way of extending the research of our practice in terms of material and structural experimentation," wrote Wu in her documentation of the process. The team began to explore concepts with rope, challenging themselves to create an entirely new concept using the same material they in "Netscape" just a year ago. Oyler Wu's previous work has played with transforming two-dimensional lines into three-dimensional forms, and Dwell's project will be an iteration of that concept. Viewed straight on, the wall is a dense line pattern. As the viewer moves around the piece, it takes on shape, revealing three-dimensional topography with depths varying from 2 to 12 feet, and marked variations in density. In the office, the staff began by building a small physical model. Their primary concern was learning how to wrap the rope, and keep it in place, on the steel frame that would be the installation's base. The solution was pre-wrapping the entire frame; though time-consuming, it was the only way to create a "gripping" surface and an even spacing system for the structure's rope web. As it moved into full-scale production, Oyler Wu used the analog model as a guide for the staff and students who would perform the complex rope-wrapping process. The team involved in fabrication of the structure's steel profiles largely referred to the digital model, constantly checking the size and placement of members that were cut and welded by hand. Each vertical piece was numbered and held in place with a wooden jig as the connecting structural elements were welded to the frame. The project's greatest challenge has been time—it was originally slated to be completed two week's before Dwell's June 22 opening, but the team has called in more hands (using social media pleas and help from Wu's former SCI-Arc students) to complete the piece. As the show draws near, Wu wrote that her biggest fear is running out of rope. The team has exhausted its supplier's stock—45,000 linear feet, or almost 9 miles—of 1/4-inch cord, and still has to create a woven seating element within the frame or else find a backup plan as crowds of design-lovers descend Los Angeles next week.
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360 Architecture’s Invisible Fort in Kansas City

A giant Tetris block has landed in Powell Gardens, a large botanical garden an hour drive outside of Kansas City, Missouri. MIRRORRORRIM, designed and built by Kansas City-based firm 360 Architecture, is a modular stacking of bright, lime green, cedar cubes, forming a T-shape on the ground with a vertical tower rising above the crossing point. The wooden structure is layered over on some sides with perforated stainless steel panels. MIRRORRORRIM is one of several structures in the Fairy Houses and Forts exhibition at Powell Gardens. Following a competition open to architecture firms in the Kansas City area, the winning designs were built for the garden and will be on display through October 7th. As the title of the exhibition suggests, walls of mirrors coating a wooden frame is not just sculpture, it is a playground designed for exploration. Unlike other structures in the exhibit, which have names like Fairy Outpost 8 and Skeleton Island, 360 Architecture took a slightly different approach to a fort, discarding any pirate theme to instead focus on the ability of mirrors to create hidden spaces. The tunnel created by the wooden cubes has a plank floor for those comfortable crawling through the four-foot-high cubes. The vertical element serves as a periscope, using a mirror installed in the highest cube to give those at the bottom of the structure a view from 16 feet off the ground. Perforations in the mirrors serve as peepholes for those hiding inside. Set in a grass field and surrounded by clumps of trees, MIRRORRORRIM blends into its surroundings—the mirrors reflect a green landscape almost indistinguishable from the vistas behind—playing with the observer's perception of landscape. Different elements of the structure—variation in mirrored planes and perforations—together play on the idea of permeability; the structure itself is both a direct and indirect image of the surrounding landscape.
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Spatial Ops’ Optical Architecture Engages with Disorientation

Occupying a room in the abandoned Federal Screw Works factory in Chelsea, Michigan, General Manifold is an immersive environment that aims to disorient as well as engage. The installation is set in an 80,000 square foot factory, founded in 1913, that once employed 250 people. When it was shuttered in 2005, only 37 remained. Spatial Ops, with students from their Meta Friche seminar at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, engage the factory’s history, showcasing the ruin and rendering its inverse. Their insertion is an attempt to cultivate enthusiasm for the ruin and to gain support for its transformation, the first step in a forthcoming master plan for Chelsea Common. The space is optically distorting with truncated pyramids that explode from a central cavity to the walls of the enveloping room. Serial cuts punctuate the pyramids, casting light and shadows into the space and further complicating the visitor’s sense of depth, dimension, and scale. Inside, spatially localized speakers layer industrial sounds over readings of texts on ruins from the 18th and 19th centuries, including John Ruskin, Viollet le Duc, and Denis Diderot. The installation will remain in place until the factory is razed.
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Tomás Saraceno’s Cloud City

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The artist’s first major U.S. commission lands at the Met

On Monday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held a preview of the latest installation to take root in its Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Designed by Tomás Saraceno, the installation is the largest of the artist’s Cloud Cities/Airport Cities series, and his first major commission in the United States. Under overcast skies and a sprinkling of rain, the installation’s first visitors—or at least those wearing rubber-soled shoes—clamored through its 16 interconnected modules. Some paused to sit or lie in the structure’s uppermost areas, while others were content to view the constellation of mirrored acrylic forms and nylon webs from the ground. The experience of boarding the structure is disorienting, and the piece gives visitors the impression that it would float away from the rooftop and over Central Park if not tethered to the Met by steel cables.
  • Fabricator and Designer Tomás Saraceno
  • Location New York, New York
  • Status Installation
  • Materials Steel, acrylic, polyester cord
  • Process Installation modeling and engineering, assembly by hand
Saraceno, who participated in the Space Studies Program of the International Space University at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, draws heavily from scientific inspiration in his work. He writes: "Cloud City’s composition is based on a complex three-dimensional geometry from Weaire-Phelan, which is an idealized foam structure resembling the perfect packaging of spheres with a minimal surface and maximum volume. This could be the best possible geometry for connecting solar flying city atmospheres. From solid to liquid or gaseous—Cloud City’s composition—a latent molecular foam structure with its infinite variations. It is not one precise arrangement (or explanation or size that matters) but rather their potential to be endlessly recombined and reconfigured, depending on the context of its use, and the interaction of their users yet to be discovered." Please enable flash to view this media. Download the flash player. 

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Cloud City has been two years in the making. Fabrication of the 20-ton piece, which measures 54 feet long by 29 feet wide by 28 feet high, began in December, with installation starting in mid-April. Brooklyn Office Architecture and Design and structural engineer Arup consulted on the design, taking into account both wind loads and the weight of visitors. The polygonal steel modules consist of straight steel members that were assembled off site into individual globes, then hoisted by crane to the roof and bolted to each other and to internal stairs and platforms. Both transparent and acrylic mirrored surfaces are fastened with pop rivets to the structure. The installation's most organic forms—polyester spider webs that are a hallmark of the artist's work—were installed last, their placement and shape determined largely by Saraceno on site. The piece will be on exhibit through November 4, 2012, weather permitting. Because a limited number of visitors may enter the structure (each set of steep stairs accommodates only two people at a time), lines are sure to be long and guests are urged to wear pants and sunglasses because acrylic components are both transparent and reflective. But the payoff is a new view of the city and the experience of feeling the modules shift and react to the weight of those inside them. As Anne Strauss, the Met's modern and contemporary art curator, commented at the opening, “There’s nothing that is more rewarding and interesting than working with living artists.”
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Public Art, If It Holds Up

If all the world is a stage, according to Shakespeare, all the city is a kunsthalle in the eyes of the New York City Department of Transportation. Bogardus Plaza, a tiny pedestrian plaza carved out of a little-used block of Hudson Street in Lower Manhattan and named for architect James Bogardus, the inventor of the cast-iron building, just received a well-deserved facelift and has now been chosen to host a prototype art display case designed by Architecture Research Office (ARO). If the design looks familiar, that's because ARO designed their sleek new case to mirror the look and feel of the city's existing bus shelters, newsstands, and benches to create a cohesive streetscape. The stainless-steel-wrapped display features a unique angled edge that creates a playful optical illusion. The rectangular shape is chamfered at the base, meeting the sidewalk at a single, stationary point, standing in contrast to the plaza's moveable cafe chairs, tables, and potted plants. “We envision the display panel as a visitor to the plaza, a temporary and flexible element that moves culture out into New York City’s pedestrian spaces,” said ARO principal Adam Yarinsky in a statement. ARO's design was selected after NYCDOT challenged designers to rethink the museum display case as public furniture. The display case is on a month-long trial run to test for durability. If it holds up, a series of cases will be fabricated and installed throughout the city in the fall and a new rotating art program will be implemented. The initiative is part of NYCDOT's Urban Art Program that brings art in unexpected places throughout the city.
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Npsag’s Grass-To-Grid Installation

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A wayfinding beacon for New Orleans’ electronic music festival

With a successful debut last month at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans last, the electronic music festival Buku Music and Art Project could become a mainstay of city’s lineup destination events. Envisioning what a success the event would be, Tulane architecture professors Nathan Petty and Sheena A. Garcia jumped at the opportunity to create a temporary installation for the event site at the edge of the Mississippi River. Petty and Garcia founded their design office, Npsag, in 2008 to work with radical architectural forms and emerging technology. While much of their work is speculative, the Buku installation had the practical purpose of being a wayfinding device at the event’s main entrance.
  • Fabricator Npsag
  • Architect Npsag
  • Location New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Status Temporary installation
  • Materials Vinyl, lumber, fasteners
  • Process Digital design, fabrication by hand
The team calls their piece Grass-To-Grid. It is meant to operate as an arrow, pointing the way to a concert’s VIP areas and main event spaces. "Our client was interested in the re-use of materials from the industrial landscape," said Petty. "However, the name comes from our idea to translate the grassy field of the traditional concert site to the industrial edge of the the Mississippi River. This manifested itself as a completely new digital artifact inspired by digitally composed electronic music. The name itself represents music's evolution from an analog source to a digital one while incorporating this re-thinking of the site" The piece is designed as a series of peaks that can be reconfigured depending on desired crowd interaction. On the first day of the Buku festival, the piece was assembled as a continuous surface, with a small opening for attendees to walk into the center of the piece. “We wanted people to be able to go inside of it to create an immersive experience,” said Petty. On the second day, the installation was divided into two parts, allowing concertgoers to walk through its roughly 4 ½-foot-tall landscape. Npsag designed the installation as an unfolded surface, designing in Rhinoceros, 3D Studio Max, and VRay, then translating the pieces into AutoCAD for construction. The 200-square-foot piece has more than 100 special angles created from the designers’ initial kit of parts and cut and assembled by hand. Twenty-two unique surfaces are framed and hinged to create eight peaks. The piece’s vinyl exterior is a nod to the truck tarps and billboard signage that make up the concert site’s industrial landscape. A black-lined graphic on the skin reiterates the overall shape of the piece. “We kept a keen eye on white surface because we wanted to shine black lights on it, to transform it during nighttime,” said Petty. Will the duo create similar event installations in the future? “We’re certainly interested in working again at this 1:1 scale and having a progressive concept to support it like this kind of super event,” said Petty. “We would certainly love to go bigger. On the other hand we want to go higher-definition, which means higher detail and integration.”
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On View> Heather Hart: The Eastern Oracle

Heather Hart: The Eastern Oracle Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY Through June 24 For the fourth exhibition in its Raw/Cooked series displaying the work of budding Brooklyn artists, the Brooklyn Museum presents an installation by Heather Hart. Occupying the museum’s fifth-floor rotunda, the installation will consist of a single rooftop that lies flat on the ground, without walls and outside its original context. As Hart describes it: “A rooftop can refer to home, stability, or shelter, but in this context, it is also an action of reclaiming power.” The roof makes specific reference to the oldest architecture in the museum’s period room collection—the Jan Martense Schenck House, built in 1676, the second-oldest Dutch-American building in Brooklyn. Visitors are encouraged to physically interact with the structure, fulfilling Hart’s intention to create a place of self-reflection and self-empowerment.
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Chicago Architect Attempting to Kickstart A “Super-Furniture”

What is a Super-Furniture? According to Chicago architect Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular, it is "a building that is kind of too small, or a couch that is kind of too big." Whichever way you prefer to think of it, Lai's plan to live in one of the his installation-scale Super-Furniture, in this case called the Hefner/Beuys House, for a month inside a London gallery is a provocative project where "suddenly architecture becomes performance art." Lai's small structures not only question our relationship to building by contorting, constricting and distorting spaces in interesting ways, but it also repositions architecture within the context of the public. Visitors will be able to see Lai living in his Hefner/Beuys House, an intimate look into one man's existence. By viewing the architect on display inside the comicbook-like building, architecture becomes narrative. Visitors to the gallery are also invited to enter the building and take part in the act. The Hefner/Beuys House needs your help, however, and a Kickstarter campaign is attempting to raise the funds necessary. As with most Kickstarter projects, Lai is offering some unique and collectible items in return for help, including highly inventive and visually striking original drawings, paintings, and T-shirts. You can even get your own Super-Furniture. This project is not the first architectural endeavor to be "Kickstarted." The Delancey Underground, a park proposed to be built underneath New York's Lower East Side, and +Pool, a floating pool planned for the East River, were both successful in raising funds through Kickstarter.