Saturday, October 30, 2010

Topography: Evolution of Lower Manhattan

Site Model examining the evolution of Lower Manhattan: an artifact created during the site analysis stage of a project for Celia Liu's High Line studio at UWM (2003).  The layers of the model explore the superimposition of the rigid Manhattan street grid (represented by the white plastic eggcrate) over the topography of the island, pre-European settlement (white museum board).  Above the grid, I created another layer representing the subway system.  While still confined to the strictures of the grid, as most subway access points obviously correspond to heavily trafficked intersections, the subway lines reinstate more fluid and organic paths of movement over (or under, as it were) the rationalized grid.

Site Model: Overview
Site Model: Detail
Site Model: Details














Materials: Foam core and museum board base, plastic eggcrate louver, strap-ties, nuts, bolts, washers and reclaimed wires.

With a little more time, I might look into how other systems fit into the model (underground aquifers, sewage, etc.).  In the meantime, check out The Welikia Project (an extension of the Mannahatta Project) and a diagram of Manhattan's changing shoreline over the course of the past 400 years.

UPDATE: this map from 1880 is quite interesting.  It shows the street grid at the time with the original topography overlaid.

Friday, October 29, 2010

UPDATE: Fluid Adagio finalists announced

Last Tuesday, I posted my entry that came up short for Salt Lake City's Fluid Adagio competition.  The finalists have been announced, and one image from each of the five entries selected as finalists can be seen here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Photo of the Week: Daruma

A Daruma doll, collected by Maura on her trip to Japan a few years ago.  One eye is drawn when a wish is made, with the other left unfinished until the wish is fulfilled.

Daruma doll

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

On Friday, I received word that I was not, in fact, selected as a finalist for the Salt Lake City Fluid Adagio competition.  Alas...

Regardless, below is the entry I submitted in collaboration with artist--and fellow Brooklynite--Jong Il Ma.  The winning project will occupy the future site of the SLC Ballet West dance company, to be built next spring with a budget of $46,000 for design, materials and labor.

View from Southwest













Rubato: Rhythmic flexibility within a phrase or measure; a relaxation of strict time.


This light, whimsical structure will embody and encourage a dynamic action and interaction with its inhabitants. Rubato might be employed by the ballet company—or other artists—for outdoor performances open to the public, either as a backdrop or as an integral participant in the performance.

A series of ribs created from segments of poplar lumber dance across the site, intertwined with an array of crisscrossing nylon ropes (a potential supporting structure for a canopy of snow in winter). Inspired by Salt Lake City’s mountainous surrounds and the grace of the ballet, the basic profile of the arch repeats itself throughout. The scale of the arches is modulated between three sizes. Each arch is a mirror image of the previous component and offset to varying degrees. Combined with the variation in height, this lends the overall composition a richness and complexity that belies its economical and repetitive elements. While visitors might experience a continuous winding procession through the arches, the structure pulls apart at alternating intervals to allow lateral passage. The composition and movement of the structure create large pockets of space ideal for performances, temporary merchant stands or simply relaxation and enjoyment.

Composed of readily available materials, the installation will tread lightly on the ground, directing its energy—and our attention—skyward. Taking cues from the rich landscape of the region, red gravel will be employed to blanket the site with a monochromatic stage from which the structure will spring. The ground plane of the site will be minimally disturbed with a series of concrete footings to support the poplar arches, mediated with steel plate and bolt connections. Light and ephemeral, when its temporary occupation of the site has run its course, the project may be dismantled just as swiftly as it arrives.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

CP-POW (Cell Phone Photo of the Week)

Part 1 in a new series!  Hold on to your hats...

Outside a glass studio on the Gowanus Canal... hanging it out to dry.