TEAM: Wenny Hsu, Deane Madsen, Alex Pandjiris, Ying Song
ADVISOR: Benjamin Ball & Gaston Nogues (Ball-Nogues Studio)
BRIEF: Produce a performance environment from recycled materials
From our explorations into materiality and form, we produced a lightweight, elegant structure capable of both shaping space and dampening acoustics. Given the brief of the project, that we were to produce a performance environment from recycled materials, we thought that the currently unforgiving acoustics of the space necessitated an approach that would greatly reduce reverberating effect of the harsh stone and concrete walls surrounding the installation.
Our current aggregation technique allows for one swirl (about one square foot) to be made from 25 coffee sleeves. Three swirls make up a curvature panel, and a 5-ft section of the tallest wall area would be made from 24 curvature panels. Without varying height at all, we would use 69,840 coffee sleeves. We estimated that we could potentially collect all the requisite sleeves over a nine-day period, given that 20 cups of coffee are consumed every minute in the U.S.
It is precisely the magnitude of that number that intrigued us about the coffee sleeves as a material. With the amount of waste being generated each day, we hoped to divert some of that waste material to produce our project, thereby both repurposing the coffee sleeves and creating consciousness of general consumptive behavior. Our collection would thus not only gain us the materials necessary to build the project, but would also produce excitement and awareness for the installation and the events held within it.
Using the aggregated curvature panels, we would separate the space of the courtyard into two types of spaces – the back-of- house space and the performance space. Because of the nature of the panel curvature, though, the mix of convex and concave shapes makes both spaces feel like the served space – neither feels either inside or outside, but rather a combination of the two. As the panels curve, the transparency of the sheet of units shifts with their orientation, allowing for lighting possibilities that would make the panels act as large gobo lights, creating patterns of light and shadow over the courtyard. This would make for an interesting performance atmosphere, especially for dance.