There is nothing quite like building something and getting a little dirty in the process. For years, fabricating physical objects was my normal. But for the past year, my new normal has been sitting in a studio, drawing theoretical plans, and designing virtually. Outside of the 1 or 2 physical models made per semester, I very rarely have felt the satisfaction of completing a physical, tangible project. That is why the Creek Monster Habitat course has been such a welcomed break from the theoretical design so common in the landscape architecture curriculum.
From the first day of class it was clear that this was going to be a fast-paced, all-hands-on-deck experience. In fact, that initial day was spent making a 1:12 model of our structure out of thin, black plastic tubing. From there on out it was a barrage of CAD and physical modeling until we had a completed steel structure ready to be “dressed” by the lighting, sound, eye, and skin teams.
Fabricating the structure was that perfect balance of pain vs. reward, with all of the complications and questions along the way culminating into a clear and solid solution. Whether or not the end result meets the intent has yet to be seen, but in 2 weeks, the creek show will be open to the public, and their reactions, and interpretations will help to give meaning to our collective design.
Regardless of the reaction or response the installation gets, the time spent working with the structures team has been a blast. We laughed, solved problems, and learned, all while working to classical music and eating copious amounts of pizza. I’d call that a success every time.