Site specific instalation and colaboration with Butler University dance department
spring 2010, arch 402
“Salvaged Layers; a Collaborative Site Specific Performance project was an interdisciplinary collaboration between two groups of students from separate Universities. The studio challenged students to explore issues of craft, making and place through a series of full scale built interventions in a historic Indianapolis theatre which had been gutted in anticipation of a planned renovation. The raw state of the theatre’s interior gave students a rich and evocative palette to engage while simultaneously liberating them from the conventional notions of stage and audience.
Throughout the process, the activities of the architecture students differentiated themselves from that of preparing a stage set because they led rather than followed the choreography of the performance. While students were encouraged to think of installations that could define space, or were kinetic and ripe with potential for interaction, there was no narrative to which they were responding. By the same token, the theatre students were allowed to react / interact with the work on their own accord, and engaged the installations in bold and unexpected ways, amplifying the potential of the architecture student’s projects. There was a very real excitement and synergy between the two groups, and there was great consensus among those involved in the project that the collaboration resulted in a whole that was in fact greater than the sum of the parts.”
Kelly Minner, archdaily.com
As a site specific installation, this design build project was inherently tied to the building (a derelict theater in Indianapolis, Indiana) in which it was constructed. The design team for this project was divided into groups; each group focusing on a single, semi-independent component of the installation. Some groups focused on prosthetic interventions that were tailored to specifically fit the derelict nature and physical parameters of the theater. As a coordinated point of contrast to this, my group designed a manipulation of the existing fabric of the building to produce new and dynamic spatial conditions which were derived from the existing architecture. Further, we sought to provide a means for the performance team to modify and interact with the space itself during their performance. A continuous plane of exposed ceiling joists defined the theater space; so my two colleagues and I devised a mechanism which permitted this plane to be modified through a system of counterweights. Thus, during the performance, the ceiling plane could be disrupted more or less as the choreography required.
Location: Irvington, IN, US