April 4, 2009


If someone makes an "AiR" folder on the Shared Drive on Monday, will everyone drop their pictures in to share? I'd love to have shots of everyone having fun :)

April 3, 2009

The big day!

Wow...what an amazing day! Thank you all for making it happen. Everyone's project turned out so well and we made so many people question, laugh, and smile! I cant imagine a better group of folks to work with or a better outcome for the workshop!

I'm off to the GSD for the ecological urbanism conference.

Look forward to seeing the documentary of our time together. In the meantime, here's some pics.

Big Love,


Intervention day

Here's the Friday plan:

Have your interventions up and ready to go by 11:30. If you can/want to get started early and have some experience of your intervention before then, go for it.

Meet @ 11:30 AM in bottom floor of Langford A. We'll do some checking in and then go out for a tour of the intervention sites. Here's the current map of your sites. The link is http://www.tinyurl.com/dzrsnk.

If you need someone to stay with your intervention, we can figure out a rotation, or see if you can get a friend who's not in the class to keep an eye on it for you. Or, perhaps it can be left on its own for a while.

April 2, 2009

Rebargroup: Ricardo Solar

Bushwaffle at the GSD!
good luck tomorrow!

Rebargroup: Michael Wilson

Fire Hose Installation:

Anyone who is not active in a group or just wants to help, we will be installing Ricardo's fire hose concept at 5:00 today near the grassy knoll in front of Langford A. Call me if you have any questions (979-204-1110) and thanks ahead of time for your help!

Michael Wilson

April 1, 2009

Rebargroup: Chris Gassaway

this is the Yorkshire Diamond Pavilion by Various Architects... the design is based on the lattice structure of a diamond. the entire structure is inflatable as well...hmmm

Rebargroup: Chris Gassaway

so here are some things that might help the bench intervention group...

these next two designs deal with the sheathing effect that you guys talked about

but i think there is also the possibility of treating your intervention as a sort of growth on the benches...

this growth may add an extended function to the bench or maybe it just draws peoples attention to the fact that the bench actually exists...



Rebargroup: fire hose group (ricardo, michael, barbara, marie gabriel, chris, )

This is the concept for the fire hose group. Anyone not active in a group is welcome to help Michael, Chris and Barbara set this up! There is also a can of yellow paint if anyone wants to experiment with painting one of the hoses, painting all of them may not be feasible. Contact Barbara or Michael if you have any questions.


Rebargroup: Katie Smither

Art and Design

This is helpful when looking at the bench project.  But in general....Yes.  There are so many things right about this.

What I find really interesting is that there seems to be so much STUFF like this out there.  It's saying something, it's almost useful, it's almost sculpture, it's almost kitsch, and if it were at a dollar store you would look down on it.  

I won't disclose yet whether I think this is art or design, (I will after ya'll have given your opinions.) But this a good conversation to bring up, art and design.  What are the differences.
Does design have to mean usability and must that usability be a physical solution?  If it doesn't have to be physical, then its use is emotional or psychological.....which is where art often operates. 
Is it art?  It's saying big things about existence in a certain condition.  About peril, potential, risk, fear, anticipation, desire, destruction......there is narrative and it is open for your interpretation.  But shouldn't good design have these big conceptual questions in mind?

This is why I think this mug is great though, because (based on my still secret definitions of art and design), I'm not positive what category this falls into.......which (I think) makes it good. 
Sorry for the rambling, I'm bringing this up because this is where we are operating.....art/design/architecture/landscaping.......what are they?
Do you have to know to do good work?  Can you blend the lines and how do you do it well. 

I think it's an important conversation, maybe one I should have considered earlier in this project. What do ya'll think about this?  What is art, what is design, and what makes them such?   Why?   I want to hear, all of you please comment!  Thanks kiddos! Later,

Katie (here's the link) Smither

Rebargroup: Katie Smither

I feel like that's a song title or something.....
Ok so I need to get to the surplus warehouse for more chairs......desperately.
If you have time Wed. (today) morning or early afternoon, or you have a car I can borrow, please let me know....for this project to function there has to be more chairs.  Let me know guys and thanks a million,


March 31, 2009

Rebargroup: Chris Gassaway

so here is the research that goes along with the "dome" inflatable

i initially started by thinking of objects and installations that i had seen for myself that in some way exemplified the characteristics of being interactive and an intervention of some sort...

so thus...

the installation outside the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX

i always see people  weaving/tying knots/swinging/hanging in the strands when i go by it...


this chair by Jonny Detiger is equipped with dials to modulate a pre-recored looped sound... so the soundscape was then changed due to the interaction of the person sitting in it...

in both instances an object that was interacted with through touch created a completely new and different experience for the surroundings

with the idea of building an inflatable object of some sort i polled some students in my studio about objects that "wanted" to be touched... the answers i received reminded me of a scene
from "Hable con ella" (Talk to Her) by Pedro Almodovar...

the idea then became about creating a large scale portion of the human body as a sort of inflatable addition to the a sites existing topography...

by people climbing on top of the form they would be changing and shaping it in a way specific to their weight ,body shape, and interaction position. Also the people on top of the structure would then be changing the experience for the people possibly within the structure.

typically human forms are interacting with the objects around them... by creating an object that is based on a human form a role reversal starts to take place..

eventually, even with the added support of fans or blowers the form would start to concave creating a new effect/affect

here are a couple of proposed ways for constructing such a form as suggested by Ant Farm...

the desired method for bonding/joining each piece would be the iron/aluminum heat sink method that is described by Ant Farm

hand drawings and sketches will follow once i scan them...



fire hose installation

Hey guys, our group...Ricky, Michael, Marie and I...are working on some sort of interactive group hammock/slack line/playground like in the monkey exhibit in the zoo type idea made of fire hoses. We have done some test installations to work out some of the kinks and figure out how this thing is going to work. All this to say anyone who does not have a group or project they are working on, you are more than welcome to join us! Ricky and Michael will both be gone for the set up of the installation, Thursday evening sometime, so we will take all the help we can get. Ricky is doing a rendering of what it will look like, so we will just have to set it up. I believe JB and Blaine are going to be helping so its a good excuse to spend time with them and learn from them too. Let me know!

Rebargroup: Mike Droske

Bench Intervention

Ok, here's a quick post describing the dimensions of the concrete benches at Diversity Plaza:

Length: 96"
Width: 24 1/4"
Height: Varies between 15 1/2- 16"

And some quick sketches of some possible designs for the overlay/sheath/thingy:

Group 1 Supplies

Group 1 (Briana, Sloan, Cory)
Supplies needed: Lemonade Yellow spray paint (is there such a thing?), 10 bottles tempera or other "child" safe paint in multiple colors and wire...

...they don't belong here!

Rebar scaled up its most recent iteration of the Triwaffle (naming suggestions anyone?), the trigonal planar geometry similar to a boron trifluoride molecule, to a 5' diameter inflated size.

To all in the class: if you have yet to land in a group, find a specific project that you're on track with for Friday, or are feeling otherwise undercommitted, let John and me know--we can show you how to heat seal an inflatable and assist us in producing additional prototype geometries over the next two days. We'd love to have your help, but please volunteer only if you've got some bandwidth in addition to your group commitments. We will be continuing to produce more of these and other variations over the next three days.

OK, now more on the process. First a large-scale "ironing board" is created:

The foil underneath helps sink the heat and keeps the double layer of plastic from sticking to the plywood or the iron.

Next we iron the layers of plastic together to form a seal.

After everything is sealed, we inflate!

And cut out the excess plastic.

... and enjoy. mmm, trigonal planarwaffle....

Rebargroup: Katie Smither

Materials:  I sent you an email, but here it is again. 

In addition to the cardboard bench, I'm working on the non site-specific chairs.   I still need to get the chairs unfortunately.  And I'll be needing to buy spray paint, a lot of it, and some good paper to make stencils out of, maybe masking tape.  I am hoping to be at Home Depot when you're there, Carol  I'm thinking that it would probably be much cheaper to buy spray paint at Walmart, but maybe that's wrong....if worst comes to worst though, I'll just bring the receipts to be reimbursed.  Thanks so much!

Katie Smither

Rebargroup: Barrett Davis

Our group is planning on having a cardboard installation. There is not a specific site other than the various concrete benches around the campus. It is going to be designed to fit in with any of the benches of said dimensions.

One of us will be with the object(s) at all times and it will most likely not stay in one spot through the entire time of the "happenings."

As far as materials are concerned, we only have one expense which should be glue. This fee should not go over $30 - given a liberal estimate. Otherwise, we are using all recycled cardboard. A good portion of it was received from the furniture store in town.

In summary
- Not site specific (fits into/out of benches around campus)
- Expense: <$30 of glue/glue guns.

Rebargroup: Group 1 (Briana, Cory, and Sloan)

Group 1 tested out some paint on plastic material today! Looks like some cheap, washable kids' paint is going to work for this first run of the Mobile Gallery :) We developed a game plan for assembling everything, as well. Thursday will be our work day.

Like with Michele Brody, I've added a new Rebargroup set on my Flickr account. Clicking the picture will take you there!

Rebargroup: Katie Smither

To the group doing the painting intervention:

I guess this is probably sprayed before it is hung, otherwise it would have dripped and run.  

streetsy.com for more -  Katie

Rebargroup: Katie Smither

Haha, 'they don't belong here'.   No matter where you are.....that's a compliment.  Maybe, I mean, unless it's like at your mom's house.  Sad day.

If you've been following the inflatables this will relate, I'm not sure if ya'll look at Yatzer,  but check it out, a recent post semi ties into some things you guys are investigating.  Happy blogging.
Katie (is sorry, Chris)  Smither

Rebargroup - Barrett Davis

Standing around and waiting for my group this evening, I overheard some students looking at the inflatables that JB and Blaine have been setting up.

"This stuff is strange..."

"You can tell they don't belong here...."

The remarks were in good humor. They were interested in what fashion the inflatables were going to be used. Furthermore, I must say that this is exactly why I am so excited for Friday to come sooner rather than later. :-) It will be fun to witness other people's reactions, indeed.


On a side note, we are no longer planning to create Tetris pieces. Instead we are planning on fitting elements into existing benches and/or other objects around campus to either change or enhance their functionality. The objects will most likely still be created from cardboard. And they should surely still be as fun.

March 30, 2009

Marie-Gabrielle Alétru

On campus, outside of the MSC and in front of Rudder Fountain, on the Stark Galleries entrance.

César's car compression

Baldaccini, César - "Compression" -
(1960) - Image Copyright © web.tiscali.it/
- Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
(cf. Nouveau Réalisme - "Compression"
- César Baldaccini

(for the process: recycled material compressed; for the shape --cube or box--; for the colors; for the art reference)

+ Buren's columns of Palais Royal, Paris, France

colonnes de Buren #2

(for the rigorous spatial occupation, repartition, and alignment; for the sober but powerful use of contrast and black and white; for the concrete contemporary material; for a visually coherent but individually different height and wideness --diversity of human size and shape--; for the playful atmosphere; for the artistic reference to the greek antique architecture and contemporary art)

+ low tech weather proof recycling inexpensive materials

+ print on what is going on inside the galleries

= invitational sitting for any art galleries
(à suivre)

Materials / Status update

OK Gang!

We've done one trip to the surplus yard and brought back materials for two projects:

Group 1( Brianna, Cory, Sloan): Large aluminum tube frame for Mobile Art Gallery.

Group 4( Ricardo, Barbara...Marie, Micheal?): Firehose tubing for Firehose furniture

I believe Group 2 (Katie, Barret, Mike, Charul) has found a source for cardboard.

We have not heard from Group 3 (Kristina, Ting, Teresa, John).

I think Chris is working solo on an inflatable dome project.

At this point we would like for y'all to commit to a project concept, finalize your materials needs, and post your concept to the Blog. We're a little concerned that a few folks are pursuing individual ideas and may not have the tools, materials, or support they need to accomplish the project by Friday.

Chris, are you working solo or have you joined a team?

Katie, are you working with your team on the cardboard tetris concept or are you forming a team to pursue the alphabet chair idea?

Please keep in mind that any materials we've borrowed from the Surplus yard need to be returned. Blaine and I leave on Friday and Saturday. We need (at least) two volunteers to be responsible for borrowing a truck (Carol, can students use your truck?) loading materials, and returning to the Surplus yard.

On purchasing supplies, this from Carol:

The way we purchase materials is to check out a credit card (employees must do this, like faculty or staff) and accompany people to the store and sign off. I've pledged up to $100 of petty cash funding out of my pocket for small things, for the whole workshop, in case people need little stuff.

My suggestion for supplies is that one person from each group put a list together of supplies and estimated costs. Put the list together for the whole class and send it to me. I can then schedule someone to go with you to purchase.

If you need to purchase supplies, please reply to this thread and post your material needs here. One or two folks should plan to meet with Carol and go buy supplies on Tuesday.

If you need more stuff from the surplus yard, let us know ASAP.

If you haven't posted a concept, please do. If you haven't committed to an idea or come up with a materials sourcing plan, we suggest you join an existing team and help with one of the great ideas already posted like Firehose furniture, or Alphabet chairs.

JB cell: 415-350-8257
BAM cell: 510-310-5698

OK......off to make ART!

Ricardo Solar: fire hose furniture

Hey guys,
I am considering utilizing some of the fire hoses available at the surplus to construct reshapeable furniture. Here are some sketches of what I have in mind. I still need to figure out what im going to fill the fire hoses with, hopefully filling them up with air doesn't end up being too difficult--perhaps water is the way to go. Because i have to be out of town on Wednesday i need all the help i can get Monday and Tuesday from anyone interested.

Rebargroup: Katie Smither

Also, as I mentioned before, there had been general discussion of the 'mobile chair text messaging' project and I really like this simple idea.  I think it has the potential to work.  I'm planning on getting the rolling chairs this morning at the surplus warehouse and addressing them as soon (and as quickly) as possible.  I'll be looking for a good site for them, I'm kind of thinking the covered library area we were playing in......there is a large section that does not have any seating and is really a waste of good space.   But I need to see if they'll roll well over there....we'll see.  Keep you posted.  Later.

Katie Smither

Rebargroup: Katie Smither

Ready and post!

Our group (Katie, Barrett, Mike, and Charul) has been working hard at finding materials and began the prototype of a building block piece today....didn't go so well.  Took entirely too long to manufacture and there are not large enough pieces of cardboard available.  Right now we're re-examining the approach, the materials, the way we're using them, etc.  Hopefully we will have a clearer direction tomorrow.

Sorry for the switch up!  

Katie Smither

March 29, 2009


Hi folks,
Looks like things are shaping up. If you have a date/time for a newsworthy event, email me. Press coverage can bring more people to the site.

Rebargroup: Group 1 (Briana, Cory, and Sloan)

Mobile Art Gallery:

Group 1 will be making a mobile art gallery. Basically a big canvas with wheels, the intervention can be tried out in a variety of locations, but for April 3rd we're going to use Diversity Plaza.

Purpose behind this intervention:
1. We wanted follow the Rebar example, meaning we provide something interactive with opportunities for play.
2. With the MSC and the art galleries housed there closing for the next three years without relocation, we hope to raise Aggie awareness of art on campus.
3. Aggies need an outlet for self-expression, creativity, and discovery that is beyond the classroom.
4. We want to show that art can be anywhere, not just a typical gallery space. Also, art can be anything-- a painting, a sculpture, and even a process.

Notes from the review with Rebar:
1. We'll paint the frame and accompanying chairs to match, making them identifiable as a set.
2. Time-lapse photographs will document the evolution of the canvas, capturing the conversation and story.