The Wishing Well

something caught in between dimensions – on its way to becoming more.

Summary

The Wishing Well is the physical manifestation, a snap-shot, of a creature caught in between dimensions – frozen in time. It is a digital entity that has been extracted from its home in the fractured planes of the mathematical realm; a differentially grown curve in bloom, organically filling space in the material world.

The notion of geometry in between dimensions is explored in a previous post: Shapes, Fractals, Time & the Dimensions they Belong to

 

Description

The piece will be built from the bottom-up. Starting with the profile of a differentially grown curve (a squiggly line), an initial layer will be set in pieces of 2 x 4 inch wooden studs (38 x 89 millimeter profile) laid flat, and anchored to the ground. Each subsequent layer will be built upon and fixed to the last, where each new layer is a slightly smoother version than the last. 210 layers will be used to reach a height of 26 feet (8 meters). The horizontal spaces in between each of the pieces will automatically generate hand and foot holes, making the structure easily climbable. The footprint of the build will be bound to a space 32 x 32 feet.

The design may utilize two layers, inner and out, that meet at the top to increase the structural integrity for the whole build. It will be lit from within, either from the ground with spotlights or with LED strip lights following patterns along the walls.

Different Recursive Steps of a Dragon Curve

Ambition

At the Wishing Well, visitors embark on a small journey, exploring the uniquely complex geometry of the structure before them. As they approach the foot of the well, it will stand towering above them, undulating organically across the landscape. The nature of the structure’s curves beckons visitors to explore the piece’s every nook and cranny. Moreover, its stature grants a certain degree of shelter to any traveller seeking refuge from the Playa’s extreme weather conditions. The well’s shape and scale allows natural, and artificial, light to interact in curious ways with the structure throughout the day and night. The horizontal gaps between every ‘brick’ in the wall allows light to filter through each layer, which in turn casts intriguing shadows across the desert. This perforation also allows Burners to easily, and relatively safely, scale the face of the build. Visitors will have the opportunity to grant a wish by writing it down on a tag and fixing it to the well’s interior.

171108 - Burning Man Timber Brick Laying Proposal View 2.jpg

 

Philosophy

If you had one magical (paradox free) wish, to do anything you like, what would it be?

Anything can be wished for at the Wishing Well, but a wish will not come true if it is deemed too greedy. Visitors must write their wish down on a tag and fix it to the inside of the well. They must choose wisely, as they are only allowed one. Additionally, they may choose to leave a single, precious, offering. However, if the offering does not burn, it will not be accepted. Visitors will also find that they must tread lightly on other people’s wishes and offerings.

The color of the tag and offering are important as they are associated with different meanings:

  • ► PINK – love
  • ► RED – happiness, joy, success, good luck, passion, vitality, celebration
  • ► ORANGE – change, adaptability, spontaneity, concentration
  • ► YELLOW – nourishment, warmth, clarity, empathy, being free from worldly cares
  • ► GREEN – growth, balance, healing, self-assurance, benevolence, patience
  • ► BLUE – conservation, healing, relaxation, exploration, trust, calmness
  • ► PURPLE – spiritual awareness, physical and mental healing
  • ► BLACK – profoundness,  stability, knowledge, trust, adaptability, spontaneity,
  • ► WHITE – mourning, righteousness, purity, confidence, intuition, spirits, courage

The Wishing Well is a physical manifestation of the wishes it holds. They are something caught in between – on their way to becoming more. I wish for guests to reflect on where they’ve been, where they are, where they are going, and where they wish to go.

171108 - Burning Man Timber Brick Laying Proposal View 1.jpg

Makerbot, RepRap and Wikinomics

About a week ago, the brooklyn-based company Makerbot Industries, led by its ubiquitous CEO, Bre Pettis, released a 3D printer called the Replicator 2 (image below) at around $2,200 per unit.

While the Rep2 was being developped, I bought the parts of my RepRap Prusa Mendel (image below) for £500 from a company called RepRapPro which was created by the inventor of the RepRap 3D printers, Adrian Bowyer. RepRap is an open-source project, meaning that all the components of the machine are disclosed online. This project is also based on the idea of a “self-replicating” machine. In fact, I could print some of the parts of another machine (the white parts below are printed).

Makerbot was founded by some of RepRap core developers, Zach Smith, Bre Pettis and Adam Mayer with some investment from Adrian Bowyer. In August, Makerbot received around $10M in funding from Angel Investors such as Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.

All the previous printers and CNC machines that Makerbot developped were open-source but the Rep2 will not be. Have a look at the post from Bre Pettis regarding this topic, and more specificaly, read the comments after it as well as the post by Josef Prusa, core developper of RepRap. The following reply of Adrian Bowyer to Bre Pettis’ post sums up what he thinks about the replicator: “Ask yourself: which will be the more numerous 3D printer (or laser cutter): one that can self-replicate, or one that has to be made in a conventional factory?”

This debate is not only fascinating but illustrates a possible conflict between the notion of Open-Source technology and sustainable business.

This summer, I read the book Wikinomics,  by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams (cover below). They praise the concept of Open-Source as a positive revolution for companies, giving the example of IBM which spends $100M a year on the development of LINUX, an open-source operating system. They say opening up patents and copyright law will allow for collaboration on an unprecented scale which will benefit everyone. They call the new consumers, the “prosumers” as they will no longer buy passively but will know the inner-workings of their products and will be able to improve/hack them.

This is already happening with Arduino, Processing, FabLab, Hackspace…etc…communities in which people hack the Microsoft Kinect (video below) or Samsung/Android phones or any other devices with an open API (application programming interface) to create a new collaborative technology or pieces of art.

 

This whole debate resonnates within the architectural world in which Architects are often replaced by enthusiastic self-builders. With information being increasingly available online, knowledge will not necessarily be in our mind anymore but mostly on the web. What will remain in our minds is intelligence and decision on how and where to apply it.

Many questions arrise from it: How do we help self-builders or prosummers and do we want to help them? How do we offer our talent, our own experience to people that can technically do what we are suppose to do just by googling it? Can a business still be sustainable if it discloses all its innovations?