The Tricorn is a kinetic sculpture placed in the basin of James Monroe Memorial Park in Washington, DC. It is both a dry lighting sculpture and an illuminated fountain, and each condition reveals a different aspect of light when applied to translucent materials.
There were two distinct goals for James Monroe Memorial Park. The first was the creation of a sculpture that could serve during summer as a water feature and as a monolith producing Moiré patterns, typical of kinetic art, during winter. During both seasons, lighting effects are created by night using LEDs lodged in the base of the sculpture.
I collaborated with the structural engineer in devising the way in which the sculpture articulated the mesh to the structure to allow water to flow down seamlessly. I also worked with the water experts and the electrical engineers to design a system enabling a response to the technical requirements of cables and tubes restricting the scope of the work on the cement of the basin, a 3000 psi cement mix poured 50 years ago. Working for the National Park Service requires a precise level of communication.
The project was done without using mock-ups and relied upon its effect on my personal experience with lighting.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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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.
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