What's better than being in an immersive LEGO-like art installation is being able to actually play with it, as seen in "Raise/Raze". Designed by New York-based practice Hou de Sousa, the installation was the winner of the Re-ball! design competition that Washington D.C.-based non-profit group The Dupont Underground and District design studio Archotus launched last fall, as part of their efforts to revive an abandoned trolley station beneath the Dupont Circle neighborhood into a public venue for arts and design events. Four finalist entries were also announced at the end of the competition.
The task at hand for participants was to cleverly reuse the more than 650,000 translucent plastic balls to become a new site-specific art installation at the Dupont Underground's 14,000 square-foot east platform. The 3-inch plastic balls were originally used in the 10,000 square-foot ball pit from the National Building Museum's indoor BEACH installation last summer.
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As a reconfigurable assembly block system, RAISE/RAZE will let people alter their surroundings. The installation will be built with pre-assembled "zones", but visitors will have the freedom to create their own objects and spaces as well. Once the project is built, it'll mark the first time the east platform has been used in two decades.
The installation will be open from April 30 to June 1, 2016.
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“We were inspired by the competition brief’s emphasis on repurposing a material,” the Hou de Sousa team stated. “We proposed a re-usable system, rather than a specific form or design, resulting in a dynamic and direct relationship between creation and destruction. Raise/Raze is like sand in a massive sandbox; it allows its users to alter their surroundings with ease.”
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“The jury was particularly struck by the interactive potential of Hou de Sousa’s proposal,” said Craig Cook, Re-ball! director and an architect at Archotus.
Due to the interactive nature of the installation, visiting ReBall!: Raise/Raze will be in small groups and by reservation only. To reserve admission, Dupont Underground encourages advance registration through their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Donors at the $25 level receive priority when making a reservation during the exhibition.
Have a look at the finalist submissions in the gallery below.
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