AN INSTALLATION ON THE WATER IN CINCINNATI'S BURNET WOODS
Fourth year capstone studio, University of Cincinnati
Instructor: Vincent Sansalone
With: Arian van der Aar
"You feel as if you’ve touched the heart of the place. That’s a way of understanding. Seeing something that you never saw before, that was always there, but you were blind to it.”
The site for this installation, Burnet Woods, is a secluded park adjacent to the University of Cincinnati. Despite the park’s proximity to the campus and residents of the Clifton neighborhood, it is largely underutilized due to its intimidating appearance. Circuit aims to re-activate and transform this neglected public space.
The installation both celebrates the simplicity of a floating white balloon and identifies the pond in Burnet Woods as a center for activity. Balloons trace the existing walking path around the water, leading visitors on a passeggiata, or walk, around the pond. The site-generated installation was the result of a series of on-site prototypes, which became a way to understand the transformative power of the balloon as it relates to site and self. Design decisions relating to balloon placement were made based on mock-ups that also explored illumination and inflation strategies.
Process documentation here: http://circuit2015.tumblr.com/.
The lantern, a circle inscribed within a square, creates a quiet space for pause and becomes a focal point on the water, framed by its own reflection. The fabric enclosure is animated by the movement inside and an occupant becomes part of the installation, backlit by the illuminated balloons.