suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
rob LEY (of URBANA): Draper is permanent installation for the Visual Arts Department building at Florida State University.
Composed of hundreds of unique stainless steel strips, this project is an experiment in how mass and gravity, along with an experimental force-feedback fabrication technique can create a carefully tuned lattice structure. At 75′ in height, the project passes through 5 separate floors and sub-departments of a visual arts school, offering each level a unique view of the project.
The installation is a three-dimensional resultant of multiple two-dimensional photographs that drive various qualitative values in the project. Qualities such as projection distance, degree of curvature, and connection locations are quantified by pixel-level color values extracted from a series of photographs taken around the site.
The fabrication of the project included the development of a physics engine application that was responsible for calculating the catenary curvature of the strips based on the mass of the material between connection points. This information helped to anticipate variables often unaccounted for in the design process and afforded a necessary dimensional accuracy in the fabrication and installation of the project.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
rL: A trip to Barcelona a few years ago to see Gaudi’s work, and an overall interest in how material behaves.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
rL: Listening to Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Witherspoon, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Art Blakey, and John Coltrane.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
Abbas Kiarostami, David Lynch, Anish Kapoor, and Gramazio & Kohler.
Additional credits and links:
Project assistance by Loren Frances Adams and Justin Rice, Photo credits to Alan Tansey.