Our first project this year is to design and construct an interactive installation made out of birch plywood. It will be located on Bath Spa University‘s most recent property acquisition, the old Herman Miller factory on the River Avon at Locksbrook in Bath.
River Avon (far left) runs parallel to the cycle path, a row of willow trees and the building
This is an unusual student project for several reasons. All aspects of the design and its realisation must be achieved in 5 days and open to the public on the evening of the 5th day, Friday 21st October, for only 24 hours. The structure(s) must then be taken down and everything packed away by the evening on Saturday 22nd. The Dutch flooring manufacturer, Hakwood, are sponsoring the work and it is their gift of 5 tonnes of wood from an installation at Clerkenwell Design Week, London, that we have to play with. For the first time, we are working as a course, across all 3 year groups with a real mix of skills and experience.
Hakfolly (May 2016) by Flea Folly Architects showing their use of plywood as a construction material
Given the incredibly fast turnaround and work on and off-site, there simply isn’t time to waste. I imagine we’ll divide up the grunt/skilled work as fairly as we can and find ways to work well together. This should be exciting and more than anything, a fun opportunity to get to know our peers. The opening/big event on Friday 21st October is meant to introduce the Locksbrook neighbourhood to our School of Art & Design. This will also be a great way to make students understand the variety of considerations that go into producing work for the general public and how to capture their interest in our work and ideas.