Los Angeles, CA
Though (respect for a sense of) utility has been the main formal influence, we have not ignored the rhetorical dimension of this influence. We have gone beyond the strictly pragmatic to its celebration, and all the irony and paradox that entails—the celebration of the un-celebrated. As perhaps the farewell concept to a millennium marked at its end by the achievements of technology, we are well aware now that form cannot be exhausted in function. There is always a residue (of choice) in even the most ruthlessly pragmatic design process. We have deployed this residue to reinforce or celebrate the utilitarian sense of the capsule. Ironically, this has introduced an element of the anti-conservative to our otherwise strict preference for durability, though still well within the tolerance for millennial survival. Thus, for example, the capsules, even when completely en-turtled, are held up to exposure by the frame that joins them. They never have a low profile.
There are two permanent capsules—one holds HD Rosetta reproductions of the two-dimensional material created and assembled by the Times, and the other holds three-dimensional material. The two containers for this material are milled from solid blocks of alloy steel, with only a single seam (eventually welded) at their doors. Inscribed all over their surface, in a deep vee-bottomed relief (to avoid edges) is a text describing their purpose and contents in two languages.
These capsule hold the payload intended to travel the full distance. Everything else—the motors, viewers, frames, pumps, railings and supports—are assumed to fall away over time unless maintained. The capsules are thus constructed to be virtually indestructible, even while on display, while everything else is, to a greater or lessor extent, sacrificial. The “temporariness” of this supporting equipment is not uniform, though. This equipment may be ranked in order of decreasing permanence, from the motors which slam the doors to the pumps which evacuate the air and replace it with argon, to the main structural supports, and the viewers and their supporting structure, and finally the guardrails.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: New York, NY, US