PURSUIT Kickstarter Launched!

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KICKSTARTER VIDEO & CAMPAIGN LINK: http://kck.st/1qGLHSw

PURSUIT is an interactive art installation that celebrates humanity’s ongoing quest for Peace, Freedom and Joy – in Life, Love and Art. The design aims to create an interactive and unique sculptural playground for visitors of the 2016 Burning Man Festival, which takes place from August 28th to September 5th in Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

THE PROJECT

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

PURSUIT emerges from the playa in tiers of intertwined timber elements that ascend seamlessly in unison to form a series of congregation and celebratory spaces. The final design is the result of a year-long study into the sensuous geometry generated from a mathematical theory known as Pursuit Curvature. This theory was explored as I wanted to utilise something that could fully embody the notion of people coming together from different places and striving towards a common goal. With Pursuit Curvature, each point starts at a unique position of a polygon, and moves incrementally towards the nearest adjacent point until they all converge in the centre. The path travelled is directly influenced by the points around it, so the final curves represent the effects all of the points have on one another as a group.

Frame 25 Ornate Central Space
Central Space

Burners can rest inside the ornate central space of Pursuit, which frames the ongoings of the playa and provides burners with a place of respite from the open sun. The six inhabitable pillars connect the playa directly to the platforms that lie atop Pursuit. Here, a glorious vantage point in which to congregate and take in the festival is gifted to Burners. During the day the interiors of the pillars are concealed from the elements, and their curved form helps to guides burners ascent to the open air. Here they can bathe in the wondrous light of either sunrise or sunset, a truly magical playa experience indeed.

Frame 125 Final Light Shot Night Time

At night time each pillar’s interior is powerfully lit to envelop the burners in light, so they can experience a sense of weightlessness and freedom. The soft glow emanating from each of the pillars’ cores invites burners to commune atop Pursuit to celebrate the radiant beauty of the night sky.

OUR PURSUIT

Frame 75 Inside
Interior of each Pillar

“As I look back on my life, I realise that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” – Steve Maroboli. 

Pursuit is a gift to the Burning Man community. Every year, we apply for funding from the Black Rock City LLC (Burning Man) to help fund our projects. Unfortunately this year, nobody received funding towards their project. Despite initial disappointment, I realised that this helped elevate the project’s intent and concept to a new level than originally planned. By crowdfunding the entirety of the project, we can manifest the collective Pursuit of people from all over the world to see this project built. This is not only tremendously exciting, but also a very humbling prospect, in that we have a passion to give this gift to the playa, but we need your help to give that gift. It is through this collective pursuit that we can embody the spirit of the festival and the project in a built architectural form.

REWARDS

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To show our gratitude for any of your generous pledges, I have created some truly beautiful and unique rewards for all levels of contribution – Each inspired by the projects form and concept, that are all exclusive to this campaign. Please do go and have a look for yourself at them and support the campaign. If you can’t spare a donation at this time, then please share the campaign to as many people as you can – so that together, we can make the project a reality.

Thank you

Joshua

KICKSTARTER LINK: http://kck.st/1qGLHSw

WATCH.POP.EAT.


WATCH.POP.EAT is an installation that focuses on the idea of ‘gifting’ through popcorn. In essence a large scale popcorn machine, that people can interact and engage with to produce an end product that is fun and tasty. A witty, but practical concept, which uses the sun and a cheap product (popcorn) to create an enclosed visual of kernels sporadically popping.

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The design uses a 43” aqua lens that, at its focal point creates enough heat for the kernels to pop. When water is poured over the thick clear vinyl (stretched over square frame) an almost perfect parabolic lens is created allowing the suns heat to be intensified.

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The sequence of use has five main stages; Scoop, Feed, Display, Gift and Eat. A simple sequence of events where the user scoops the kernels from the storage container, feeds them onto the heating bed, watches the experience of random popping, takes the popped popcorn from the salty or sweet containers as a gift and then finally eats the popcorn.

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PORTFOLIO_JANUARY.13Above: Night render showing how the ‘popcorn machine’ will be internally lit.

Below: Internal render showing the main event of the kernels popping.

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The Crystal Path

09The Crystal Path is a structure based on the Hexactinellid underwater sea sponge, its aim is to take a structure inspired by deep sea creatures and to put it into its opposite environment, the desert.

The Sponge is a glass sponge, and is built of Silica. Silica strands mesh together to form optical fiber’s which transmit light, grabbing loose photons at the base of the ocean. This forms the basis for my proposal.

Utilizing LDR sensors and LED eyeball lights fixed to light rods attached through the structure ambient light, from sunlight to flashlights and fire will trigger sensors. These will switch the lights on and off in call and response type patterns. This will create an otherworldly ethereal structure which has a unique interaction with the light which surrounds it.

Its intention is to be shaped like a pathway, users will contemplate the nature of light and freedom, as the open structure will allow bikes and small mutant vehicles to travel underneath.

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Black Light Tower by Luka Kreze

Midnight Butterfly Release

My design for this year’s Burning Man Festival is titled ‘Black Light Tower.

Black Light Tower is a membrane tensegrity structure which is constructed out of 38 metal rods and a transparent structural membrane. One of the most important characteristics of the Black Light Tower tower is also one of the most important principles of Burning Man Festival – Self Reliance. Just like people of Burning Man are encouraged to rely solely on themselves and their own resources this structure is fascinating mainly because it does not use any additional support such as columns or cables, but relies solely on its own structure. The membrane almost miraculously holds the structure up and in tension. To be more precise, instead of the structure holding up the cover, cover is holding up the structure.

Tensegrity structure of this kind seems to be a perfect allegory of the Burning Man principles and a symbol of self reliance.
Black Light Tower will provide a unique experience to its users.

Its interior space is essentially a ladder which leads towards the top of the structure. From the day one the space is filled with hundreds and hundreds of butterflies which cannot escape the tower.

Butterflies then fill the tower storey by storey as the days go by. Every day the net which separates one storey from the other gets removed and butterflies can fly higher into the structure. Visitors can climb only as high as the butterflies go.

On the final day magic happens as the butterflies are symbolically released in the air, at the same time as the Burning Man Figure is set on fire. Butterflies are lit with UV light which allows the visitors to see them in their true colours, in the same way as butterflies see each other, while creating a spectacular event for the viewers’ eyes.

Immediacy is probably one of the most important values of the Burning Man culture. As written in the ten principles immediate experience means to seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality that surrounds us and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers.
The experience of climbing the tower will definitely make the climbers fell more alive aware of their inner selves. The night view of the Black Light Tower should be spectacular as all of the rods will be equipped with UV light which will reveal not only the magic of the floating structure under the membrane but ever changing projection of butterflies in flight under the Black Light. One of the most thrilling experiences, however, will most probably be the sublime view of the Playa from the top of the tower on the last day of the festival, that seems like its going to collapse any minute.

Elevation View of the Black Light Tower

Precedent Study

Large Scale Test Model

Timeline Drawing of the Butterfly Release

Section Drawing

Urban Aquaponics, Internet and Food

“My garden is sending tweets!” Eric Maundu

Just came across this amazing video in which Eric Maundu talks about his start-up “Kijani Grows” (“Kijani” is Swahili for green), a small startup that designs and sells custom aquaponics systems for growing food using cheap technology including arduino boards. Toby and I often talk about “closed loop systems”, this is a great example of one.

“The land in West Oakland where Eric Maundu is trying to farm is covered with freeways, roads, light rail and parking lots so there’s not much arable land and the soil is contaminated. So Maundu doesn’t use soil. Instead he’s growing plants using fish and circulating water. It’s called aquaponics- a gardening system that combines hydroponics (water-based planting) and aquaculture (fish farming). It’s been hailed as the future of farming: it uses less water (up to 90% less than traditional gardening), doesn’t attract soil-based bugs and produces two types of produce (both plants and fish). Aquaponics has become popular in recent years among urban gardeners and DIY tinkerers, but Maundu- who is trained in industrial robotics- has taken the agricultural craft one step further and made his gardens smart. Using sensors (to detect water level, pH and temperature), microprocessors (mostly the open-source Arduino microcontroller), relay cards, clouds and social media networks (Twitter and Facebook), Maundu has programmed his gardens to tweet when there’s a problem (e.g. not enough water) or when there’s news (e.g. an over-abundance of food to share).
Maundu himself ran from agriculture in his native Kenya- where he saw it as a struggle for land, water and resources. This changed when he realized he could farm without soil and with little water via aquaponics and that he could apply his robotics background to farming. Today he runs Kijani Grows (“Kijani” is Swahili for green), a small startup that designs and sells custom aquaponics systems for growing food and attempts to explore new frontiers of computer-controlled gardening. Maundu believes that by putting gardens online, especially in places like West Oakland (where his solar-powered gardens are totally off the grid), it’s the only way to make sure that farming remains viable to the next generation of urban youth.”

Bridging the Digital Divide with Sparchitecture

More than 4 billion human brains are not connected to the global machine that is internet. The enormity of this divide is cause for concern. So how do we bridge this divide? India has the greatest disparity between total population and internet users out of all the countries in the world. The majority of users are located in urban areas, the rural parts are digitally disconnected.

By trying to include an exemplar rural community in West Bengal into the global digital network, we aimed to develop an architecture that considered India’s local resources and culture. By using Jute which is a vegetable fibre that is also the highest produced agricultural product in India, we intended to show-case the communities local materials and skills. India’s cultural symbol is represented by the spindle. We took the idea of the spindle to an architectural level by developing a spinning system that would create architecture and become the catalyst for the construction of a spillage (spun village).

The community’s internet inclusion would be manifested by the setup of a blog that would advertise the community and promote their growth by attracting tourists to come and visit the site. With the growth of the community the spaces would accommodate visitors and the site would become an ecotourism destination. Ultimately, this scheme was conceived to diffuse the ideologies beyond the borders of the community, spreading local ideas. This exemplar settlement would become a precursor for change in other communities across the developing world that have the right to the internet, unleashing a cornucopia of human thought!

By Maria Valente and Anam Hasan

The Floating Earth Islands of The Zambian Twa Tribe

It’s time to break the monopoly of Monsanto!

Companies such as Monsanto are pushing the parameters of agricultural biotechnology to develop to ‘super’ crops which are able to survive in conditions that previously they would have perished within. This depicts a positive image of a global agricultural firm such as Monsanto, though this is predominately not the case and although the new developments in crop growth is perceived to be the future it is as highly critised and linked to names such as ‘Frankenstein foods’. Can a technology giant/charity like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation compete against a global agricultural giant like Monsanto and provide an equal competitor? The ‘Floating Earth Islands’ provide the opportunity to harvest a GM free alternative for Maize crop growth whilst also providing habitats for the fish in the Kafue River, which the Twa Tribe farm. As the floods recede and the land is returned to a harvestable condition the Twa Tribe can inhabit the clay pot structures that once were required to prevent the floods from destroying the tribes crops and livelihood.