By Caitlin Ware, Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The grounds of Iowa State University’s Reiman Gardens will be a little bit brighter this spring, thanks to a brand new 1,300 square-foot installation designed and put together by dozens of second-year architecture students as part of the garden’s “Forces of Nature” kinetic art exhibition.
It took 15 weeks, 460 structural bolts, 2,700 feet of cable and 1,413 decorative spinning iridescent panels, but together, 77 students taking ISU’s Architecture 202 course over the last semester created “Prisma,” a 70-foot-long wooden structure complete with hammocks for relaxing and climbing, now at home in the northeast corner of Reiman Gardens.
The project is the third one made for the Architecture 202 “design-builds” since 2016, and after past success with the program, for this year’s undertaking, the students took on Reiman Gardens as a formal client to create a temporary display for the space that would engage visitors and increase interaction with nature. After many meetings, drawing up proposals, sharing feedback, creating designs and working to build the geometric structure, the finished product features woven polyester fiber hammocks for the middle and end sections of the wooden frame, and 1,413 small, square iridescent panels that move in the wind and reflect rainbows.
The 2018 theme for Reiman Gardens is “Movement,” and according to a university news release, students’ designs for Prisma were inspired by the plants, animals and natural forces at the gardens.
“I don’t even have words, it’s really impressive,” said Sara Merritt, Reiman Gardens education manager. “We wanted something that you wouldn’t just have to look at, but you could climb on, sit on, play on, that would really speak to this idea of movement. We couldn’t have asked for more.”
According to Nick Senske, assistant professor of architecture and coordinator of second-year studios, this year’s project is the most complex one students have created since the university’s second-year architecture studios combined to create design-builds in 2016.
At the beginning of this semester, students surveyed and analyzed the site at the gardens, eventually picked a final design to work with, and have spent the last 15 weeks finding ways to incorporate the theme, coordinating project scheduling, and assembling the giant structure.
“(It’s) beyond expectations,” Senske said of Prisma’s end results. “Nothing compares to being here, seeing (the panels) blow in the breeze making these sort of disco ball reflections. We’re not even experiencing the best part of it yet, which is when the kids get on it. That’s going to make me the happiest. That’s when architecture works, when people use it. It really evokes nature on the site. To see people enjoy it, that’s what I want students to learn too.”
Students installed Prisma last week, and it will serve as a companion piece to 12 other sculptures scattered throughout the garden’s 17 acres, created by Massachusetts-based sculptor and engineer George Sherwood. The stainless steel sculptures also respond to weather and light to reflect the garden’s movement theme, and will be on display April 28 through Nov. 3.
Visitors are encouraged to interact with the new student-created structure, whether by sitting in the available hammocks, scaling the woven walls or listening to the iridescent panels blow in the wind, which sophomore architecture student Christopher Shoemaker said creates a sound similar to birds chirping.
According to Merritt, originally, the plan was to keep Prisma installed through the end of the year, but because of how well it turned out, instead, it will remain in place indefinitely, or as long as it can stay standing.
“This is what architecture is, this is what you want to do,” Shoemaker said. “It’s very satisfying to actually see the infill panels glittering. If a user comes here, and they sit in that hammock for hours, and they read their book and just lose track of time, job well done, that’s amazing. We want this to be fun for not just the kids, but also the adults. Whether or not they lay in the hammocks, if they just come here and enjoy the structure of it, and the design, that’s all we ask.”
Source : http://www.amestrib.com/news/20180419/reiman-gardens-debuts-new-isu-student-creation