Today we officially kicked off our Studio V semester-long project by meeting with our client Mark Sloan, the Director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. He introduced BlueSphere, the expo for which we are designing, as a community-wide project whose focus is the “intersection of art and environmentalism.”
We viewed works by the four artists to be hosted by the Halsey, but were also informed of the wide range of perspectives that will be collaborating to form the month and a half long expo. Exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions, film and environmental activism will foster a concurring dialog across the city, and we, as architecture students, will play an important role in this interdisciplinary process.
Our first task is to design and build a kiosk in Marion Square that attracts and informs visitors to BlueSphere, embodies the essence of the expo, and of course, is architecturally interesting. Paralleling the BlueSphere theme, and operating on a very limited budget, we will be gathering all of our own recycled materials. The kiosk will be erected during the first week of October, and will not only display the locations of each of the BlueSphere components, but will certainly play a central role in generating publicity and excitement for the entire event.
Our second project will facilitate another exciting element of the BlueSphere expo – one that particularly resonates with us as a design/build studio. On November 18 the film Citizen Architect, a documentary about the late Samuel Mockbee, founder of the Rural Studio at Auburn University, will be shown in Cannon Park. We will be responsible for designing and building a screen for this viewing and coordinating all the logistics of such an event. An additional aspect, which will influence the design, is the prospect that we might disassemble the structure and have a similar screening on the Clemson campus the following week.
Both projects will require a great deal of collaboration not only within our studio, but with the sponsors of BlueSphere, potential donors, residents, students, artists, and the City itself. With much to think about, we left our meeting with Mr. Sloan, and headed to Marion Square and then Cannon Park to examine our sites.