Client: City of Bloomington
Location: Bloomington, IN, United States
Completion date: 2021
Artwork budget: $385,000
Project One Studio
Project One Studio
OverviewUrban Fabric is derived from quilt blocks. Through design and limited variables, a few key moves transform very modest parts into a complex textural fabric. We drew a connection from this to the vibrancy and uniqueness of the city and its visitors. Local businesses and life-long residents interact with thousands of students from all over the globe in this diverse community. We were able to take formal cues from a quilt to describe the vibrant Urban Fabric of Bloomington in a very bold way. Thousands of colorful parts come together to transform a typically underutilized parking garage facade into a representation of the city. Colors fade in and out as the project moves across the building facade, forming a painterly vision of a sunset. This was the primary way we were able to add depth and excitement to this project, and the ability to use a larger palette was an extremely cost-effective way to add texture to the fabric. We realized that complex shapes or physical depth have diminishing returns when it comes to an art piece of this scale, but we expanded the color palette with an immense gradient display of purples, blues, yellows, and magentas. The components pop off of the dark-painted concrete background and become immaterial, focusing the viewer on the composition.
This project became an exploration in part of simplification and fabrication strategies to create an iconic and massive-scale project for the City of Bloomington. Integrating this project into the facade of a parking garage set multiple constraints for our design. Using the garage opening sizes, variable percent coverage, and stock material sizes, we created an integrated and efficient piece that compliments the garage it adorns.
Using parts that nest into a stock sheet of aluminum with maximum efficiency, we were able to deliver this project amidst material market uncertainty due to the pandemic. Working closely with Ignition Arts, we developed a system of visual complexity made out of easily reproducible and cheap parts, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing, massive, and durable piece of public art.