Sensitive Building’s is about understanding as much as it is about creating. To that end, Rob Faludi, our professor and ITP Alumni, first assigned us to simply observe.
After chatting with Michelle Boisson, my classmate and partner on this project, we decided to try to head down Ground Zero on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to observe people as they experience the site. We first arrived at the Cortland Street Station but we meandered south from there to the edge of Zucotti Park, on the corner Trinity Place and Liberty Street where last year Occupy Wall Street had encamped.
We had originally planned on going straight to the memorial just a block away but it was closed to the public for family of the victims of the attacks. This turned out to be fortuitous since a second part of our observation exercise was to have another group from class go to the same location at a later date and observe what they could. Our counterparts, Michael Uzzi and Gavin Hackeling decided to attend on the following Sunday and Monday which happened to be the one year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Our observations can be seen in the presentation below.
We’re starting a new term at ITP and I’m enrolled in what looks to be an excellent course on product design called Ideas Taking Shape. Our first assignment is to create an object our of plain wood that would embody an emotion. I decided to work with the emotional state that stress creates, though I’m not certain if I can call “stress” an emotion. Nonetheless, I first imagine creating a sculpture not unlike the “Atlas” sculpture outside of Rockefeller Center, a man who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders.
I drew out some sketches of a thousand needle like objects flying haphazardly onto a single object. Instead of splinter a piece of wood into a thousand bits I tried to find objects that already had the form I desired. This lead me through a search of materials at hand and materials I could purchase and I settled upon Toothpicks. Through the process I also happened upon some old Jenga blocks that we were going to throw out and I realized how perfect the blocks were for this creation.
The result is two sculptures that try to embody what stress might feel like, the never ending attack of deadlines, projects, commitments and obligations that are juggled precariously by the individual.