This is the second project I intended to finish for the crit. My introduction post for this collaboration project with Jodie Cooper can be found here.
I experienced my first metalsmith work by doing this project. First, we cut and sanded steel hollow tubes to make the PVC pipe holders.
Second, we plasma cut the modular railings out of a 2" x 4" sheet material. Then we cleaned up everything with grinders to make them weldable.
It was painting-by-numbers from this moment on. We just need to assemble everything in order to form a “machine” to create shapes. It consists of three movable sectional parts, and PVC pipes (we only had 10 with the right size by the time of testing, but ideally we are imagining of 200 of the them).
Although we were still struggling to finish it by the time of the crit, we thought we had it figured out. We believed that we nailed it, a reconfigurable bench (the overall weight of our choices of materials makes it silly to still call it a chair) made out of industrial raw durable materials. We were wrong.
First, the joints on the pipes are not strong enough. Jodie TIG-welded everything in 10 minutes or so, but it was only the first of the failures.
The biggest failure of them all was that the system we devised does not work as well as planned (once again: the problem with plans is that they do NOT work). As we did our first test over during crit, we got a lot of constructive and useful feedbacks, on the technical as well as conceptual elements of our idea (and, of course, object). The most interesting ones for me were those who make me rethink and reflect on this method of “thinking by doing”. I will get to it in the future posts.
As the idea is still in its infant stage, this baby turned out to be a heavy, relatively expensive, and labor-intensive one. Delivering it, though, jump-started me in a whole new direction I did not know I was interested in pursuing before. So, let me leave you with a quote from Madonna (an endless source of quotes for me) for now: “Absolutely no regrets.”
A school blog on Arch Dept, Cranbrook Academy of Art. By farid rakun, admitted Fall 2011.