The Field Constructs Design Competition invited architects and designers to share their most inventive ideas for a temporary outdoor installation to be exhibited at the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin, Texas. As a way to draw public attention to the East Austin landscape, proposals were expected to creatively engage with the natural and cultural factors that are unique to the evolving city of Austin.
The competition attracted a solid number of submissions from 35 cities in nine countries and four continents. At the end of phase one, the jury selected 18 competition finalist designs, which will all be on exhibition at the University of Texas at Austin in November.
Read on for more.
Based on curatorial factors, funding, and feasibility, the jury will conclude the competition with the selection of five to eight winning proposals. Winners will then receive $5,000 in construction funds to realize their installations for a week-long series of community events this November.
So stay tuned! The winning results are expected to be revealed very soon.
In the meantime, get a glimpse of the finalists below.
LAS PIÑATAS by Goujon Design (David Goujon) | Austin, TX
"LAS PIÑATAS tells the story of Austin’s growth through the life cycle of the piñata. In early 2015, a local, family-owned piñata store was razed to the ground by a pair of transplanted property developers in the city’s rapidly gentrifying East Austin neighborhoods. The low-income and predominantly Hispanic neighborhood of Montopolis will inevitably become another friction point between the development of a ‘new’ Austin and the preservation of ‘old’ Austin. Our objective is to preempt this debate and engage the community in a project that ends not in destruction, but in rebirth. The centerpiece of the installation will be two digitally-fabricated oversized piñatas in the shape of the iconic Mexican burro crowned by a dense canopy of superhero piñatas."
99 WHITE BALLOONS by Invivia (Brad Cantrell, Allen Sayegh, Stefano Andreani, Craig Reschke, Ziyi Zhang) | Cambridge, MA
"99 WHITE BALLONS is activated by a series of microphones and proximity sensors as well as 396 LED lights that float high above the ground with the balloons. When a person, or deer, or other wildlife moves closer to the proximity sensor a stepper motor slowly draws the balloon cable closer to the ground at that anchor tower, as they move away the balloon cable is released. Similarly sounds picked up by the microphones at each anchor tower increase the intensity of the LEDs in waves outward from that tower. The towers themselves are equipped with LEDs that respond to small temperature variations, illuminating the microclimates at work between the ground and the tree canopy. Each tower and its relationship to floating ring illustrates the small differences in each of the preserve’s three landscape types through temperature, ambient sound, and movement."
DUCK BLIND IN PLAIN SITE by Jonathan A. Scelsa, John Paul Rysavy, Jennifer Birkeland, Isaac Stein, Nick Mitchell, Erin Wythoff | Brooklyn, NY
"DUCK BLIND IN PLAIN SITE is born out of a desire for contextual double-readings, wherein architectural form 'doubly functions' to exist in its own system while simultaneously within the system of its site. DUCK BLIND's exterior, shrouded in camouflage, seeks to hide within its pastoral setting, while its interior attempts to subvert the exterior’s camouflage with apertures and thresholds showcasing high chromatic interior claddings. DUCK BLIND's contextual tension is heightened through its material composition: a double-sided brick construction featuring high-contrast post-consumer recycled materials as cladding on the interior, while the exterior features grass harvested from the seasonal cycle of local ecologies. The goal is to create an object expressing a visual tension in relation to its context, wherein the object oscillates from being one with and against nature."
CLOUDFILL by Blake Smith, John Cunningham, Seth Brunner | New York, NY
"CLOUDFILL is made up of three site-adjusted installations, one to address each of the three distinct natural biomes comprising the ten-acre brownfield site: forest, wetland, and grassland, each created using the same flexible construction module: plastic bags filled with plastic bottles. In an effort to proliferate the educational mission of the Ecology Action of Texas, each piece references an environmental issue affecting its respective biome: deforestation, the Pacific Trash Vortex, strip mining, and landfills. The project proposes a vision of the potential site transformation and the reuse of post-consumer materials in the construction of architectural space. With strikingly contradictory objects in a serene context, CLOUDFILL highlights the inherent uncanny-ness of the site’s many manipulations, calling into question the true meaning of ‘nature’ and ‘landscape.’"
BLURRED BODIES by Studio Roland Snooks (Roland Snooks, Cam Newnham, Sascha Bohnenberger) | Melbourne, Australia
"BLURRED BODIES hovers between the natural and the artificial. It shifts between camouflaging with its environment and reveling in its alienation. The project has been designed through behavioral-based algorithms in which a turbulent surface emerges from a swarm of agentBodies. This process imbues the project with a natural or swarm like character, which is balanced against the industrial nature of its fabrication process and tectonic detailing. While sculptural in nature, the project is fundamentally an architectural prototype. It is part of an ongoing exploration into the synthesis of surface, structure, and ornament through complex systems. BLURRED BODIES is an experiment that is intended to be inhabited—or at least navigated. It sits somewhere between an installation and a pavilion, with ambitions of being proto-architectural."
COMMPOST by Daniel Gillen, Colby Suter, Gustav Fagerstrom | Beijing, China
"COMMPOST is an educational tool informing the public of the techniques and benefits of composting organic food waste. Guests of COMMPOST will be able to engage in the practice of composting and see the results of their efforts over the lifespan of the installation. Given its temporary site, COMMPOST is familiar in its iconicity yet playfully foreign. Computational design allows for the complex form to be catalogued and described with a minimal kit of parts. Components are nested for material ecology, with overage chipped and used as composting ingredients. Similar to an Ikea or Lego set, COMMPOST comes with a step-by-step assembly manual in addition to COMMPOST’s uncommon zero waste disassembly guide."
MEAT CHURCH FIELD KITCHEN by Jordan Bartelt, Scrap Marshall | Los Angeles, CA
"The premise of the solitary church in the Texas landscape and Austin’s rich culinary heritage is re-composed and redefined as a gateway, catalyst, and social generator. Here, on the remains of a reclaimed landfill site, the bells toll for hungry souls as plumes of sweet smelling smoke bring visitors and locals alike to a place of relaxation, community, and feasting. THE FIELD KITCHEN will be designed and constructed in Los Angeles and brought to site as a series of pre-fabricated parts, ready for easy assembly and installation. THE MEAT CHURCH is agnostic, contextual, opportunistic, and optimistic. It takes the form of two parts: a physical prefabricated grill and smoker and a ‘menu’ formed and prepared by BBQ experts."
TRANSECTUAL HEALING by Lauren Fasic, Clayton Holmes, James Morgan, Brendan Wittstruck | Austin, TX
"TRANSECTUAL HEALING is a spatial intervention emerging from and spanning across the Circle Acres Nature Preserve. It intends to enrich user engagement by creating an armature telling the story of the site by exposing its layers and history, revealing the ebb and flow of water and seasons, embracing decay and providing spaces and surfaces on which multiple media and the site itself can perform. The installation is built of three interwoven parts. A bamboo armature transects the site and references the past site topography as it has changed with human intervention. Within it, an assembly of construction debris reveals the hidden layer beneath the ground. Finally, a west-facing screen collects shadows and provides an opportunity for digital media and social connectivity."
YELLOWFIELDS by Cruz Mendez | Austin, TX
"YELLOWFIELDS engages the natural surroundings of the site and draws attention to a part of Austin that has long been socio-economically neglected. The structure’s framework mirrors the winding boundary of the forest surrounding the open field. The unique use of fabric is dual purposed: to provide shade and to create an interactive experience with the structure. The project is meant to attract pedestrians and cyclists to a reclaimed oasis within the city and to stimulate reflection on the man-made construct within the beauty of the natural site on which it rests. "
More finalist proposals in the gallery below. Read their project descriptions here.
Comment as :