Friday, June 10, 2011

Cool Stool Design Competition Entry

Competition Brief:

APING THE CITY competition is taking place in the context of American cities under extremely severe aesthetic predicaments. Following the recent events in North Africa, we want to revisit Le Corbusier’s question: Architecture or Revolution? Architecture carves an irreversible first impression on the culture of cities; we can no longer endure the way that banality of our skylines misrepresents the spirit of our times. This competition is proposed in conjunction with TEDx25thWard in Chicago under the same title, Architecture or Revolution? We are rewarding the 25 winners based on how cool their stools are – the winners will construct their designs, exhibit the work with the speakers, and sit on it during the event. They will be laid out like Koolhaas’ City of Captive Globe in the first rows of the audience.


The Cool Stools are scaled models of architectural massing. They can be thought of as figural beings with personalities. In other words, this re-shaped “city” will be a collection of archi-characters.


The challenge is to make the cool stools sturdy enough to sit on during the TEDx25thWard event. How does one tell a story with one image? The difficulty of this project is calibrating complexity of thought into one single massing. As well, in keeping with the world-class quality that TED and TEDx upkeeps, we are looking for the caliber of work that can make history with us in Architecture or Revolution.


Buoy _ stool

While the Buoy stool visually acknowledges the reference to water and flotation, something architecture, skyscrapers and cities will be contending with in the near future, the stool relies more heavily on the buoy’s capacity to mark and reference to draw connections between architecture and object.

Specifically, we must acknowledge that buildings today are expected to not only hold spaces but perform duties as well, such as generating electricity, producing crops, or retaining water. So the stool does not merely become a scaled version of a building in form alone. Instead it must also reference and scale the ability to both hold and perform. And like a new architecture, we expect the performance to make something better than we found it (revitalize), have more than one use (value), and adapt.

In the case of the Buoy, it holds a person in formal position of sitting, and yet allows one to perform fitness activities by rocking (revitalizing). Secondarily, it adapts to need by performing multiple functions. The Buoy is for sitting and also for lounging; propping up the head and shoulders as one lies back at its base - ideal for frontal viewing of events with internal speakers and shade above.