For this project, we took our inspiration from the iconic image of civil rights leaders crossing arms across their bodies and holding hands to show solidarity between people of all races and backgrounds. The artistic composition of folded arms and hands is created by a parametically generated waterjet pattern that evokes the close-up configuration of woven fabric, and also the grid-like pattern of the streets of Atlanta.
For us, weaving is a powerful metaphor for “crossover” in how we interact and learn from others. The power of the weaving metaphor lies in its very basic structure. The over and under aspect of a woven fabric reinforces the notion of complementary, diverse elements. One thread or strand of fiber provides support from one angle, which is further supported in the other direction by another. The tighter the weave, the stronger – strength through diversity, celebrating Atlanta’s rich cultural heritage and human rights legacy. Seen up close by pedestrians, the folded arms and hands are revealed to be created by a weaving pattern. This becomes a metaphor for a community urban fabric that is connected from an urban scale by the historic streets of Atlanta, but also on a personal scale with individuals coming together, hand-in-hand, in the struggle for Civil Rights.
The close composition of folded arms and hands becomes a more abstracted gesture, relative to the more figurative sculptural depictions of Civil Rights leaders along the MLK Corridor. The close-up of folded arms and hands are intended to be taken from both historical photos or custom photography, allowing viewers to wonder if these folded arms and hands come from historical Civil Rights leaders or members of the community. The close-up treatment of the composition powerfully gestures towards an egalitarian sensibility, looking forward to the ongoing struggle for civil rights carried out across generations.
Lighting is major element of the design. Linear LED fixtures align along the bottom edge of the perforated fence dramatically backlighting the artwork surface at night. The lighting program slowly changes colors in a shifting gradient, evoking the subtle gradations color that is created by hand dyeing strands of fiber in an ombre technique, further reinforcing the weaving metaphor.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.