SoftMatter is a temporary active event space that encourages a wide demographic of users to interact with the installation. It is intended to invoke notions of playfulness and positive experiences for the users of Canan Commons in Downtown Muncie, IN. Our goal is for users to directly engage the project, allowing them to experience it spatially by walking around and through the cascading landscape. The piece does not have a single specific function, but rather it allows users to discover ways of interaction.
Materially, we utilized over 20,000 custom made extruded polyethylene foam rods. They were cut to prescribed variable lengths to create the undulating surfaces and mounted to 150 structural wood decks. They are easily cleaned, durable, safe, cheap, lightweight, and can be manipulated into a variety of forms. The extrusions could be clustered, stacked, etc. to create many configuration options. Due to their low cost, we had the opportunity to aggregate them in large quantities to create a very impactful installation that can be engaged at multiple scales.
Formally the large undulating landscape provides a variety of interaction zones. The project encourages climbing, jumping, running, while providing for ample seating and areas to relax. Its iconic presence in the space attracts all that see it. For special events we envision an added component of lighting to be projected onto the installation. This could be an interactive scenario where lights are cast onto the surface reacting to users. We will be collaborating with a local organization to program this added component.
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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.