Colored lines twist across the courtyard, connecting and defining A&AA
“We are here by choice, but often we feel stuck. What does it feel like to be stuck in something you love?” the students’ submission asked. The answer hangs in the A&AA courtyard through graduation.
The A&AA Student Advisory Committee recently hosted an interdisciplinary student design competition loosely based on the theme " What does it feel like to be in A&AA?" The winning entry was “Web of Threaded Engagement.” The resulting installation is a web of multicolored lines weaving among and connecting the buildings facing the A&AA courtyard.
Above: The lines of the web extend from rooftop edges to the base of pillars inside the A&AA central courtyard. Photo by Marti Gerdes.
Graduate students Shannon Arms (landscape architecture), Heather Ferrell (architecture), Emilie Froh (landscape architecture), Casey Hagerman (community and regional planning), and David Wong (architecture) decided A&AA felt like “a web: a mesh built by a spider, composed of spider silk and usually used for trapping prey.”
But a web, to these students, extends farther, deeper, wider, and higher.
“We approached our design by thinking about being tangled in a web together, being collectively engrossed in this school of design. We are here by choice, but often we feel stuck. What does it feel like to be stuck in something you love?”
Such a web would, they wrote in their submission, “brighten the space; draw people visually and physically; define small scale gathering spaces; hook people up through a multidisciplinary construction of the installation.”
Each A&AA department is represented by a distinct thread in the installation. They converge and cross and engage each other at various points in the courtyard. “Each stands alone, bright and distinct, but it’s something magnificent when they come together.”
Above: The completed web begins at the corner of the original wing of Lawrence Hall and extends out to the newer additions. Photo by Marti Gerdes.
The students even envisioned the installation on the schedule that students are in A&AA: 24/7.
“The web is something that brightens the dark courtyard. It attracts people to it like bugs to a light. The web defines thresholds and spaces to gather. The web is also a composition from above – from the hallways and studios in the upper floors of Lawrence. Lighting the web with LEDs would provide a night-time attraction for students working on the upper floors at night.”
The web will remain up through graduation.
Above: A computer mockup of the web shows how it could look as LED lights.