Yesterday was one of those defining moments in our project where we realized just how real our projects really are. We met with structural engineer John Moore and started to get into specifics about materials, connections, and assembly. At this point our projects are fairly defined, we have solid concepts and broad designs that everybody involved is on board with, but there are so many details to work out. The biggest of these details? Material choice. At the Farmfield site the multi-use installation around the tree is designed to have a light touch to the ground, it almost feels like it is floating. In order to get that feeling, the connections to the ground either need to be hidden and closer to the center of the design or there needs to be very few connections to the ground. These two approaches would require different materials for the support and framing underneath and John helped us to determine the specifics of either system.
At the Coburg site our team is facing more material choice explorations. Here we are looking for a way to create a seating structure that is also sculptural as well as kinetic (and safe!) All of these factors have led us to using metal, most likely steel rods and pipes, but it’s time to start getting specific about sizing and how to connect everything. In order to familiarize ourselves with our material choice better and get comfortable with steel, we are going to get an introduction to welding tomorrow. Our plan is also to go start experimenting with some different sized pipes and tubes, testing their stability vs. sway, this afternoon. So, if you happen to be at the hardware store today and you see some kids shaking, wiggling, and jerking some metal pipes around, don’t worry. It’s not modern day jousting, it’s just us.