re currents

permanent public art installation on the rawhide wash bridge, scottsdale road between williams drive and pinnacle peak road, scottsdale, arizona
client: scottsdale public art, city of scottsdale, arizona

material: painted carbon steel
size: five bent and twisted arches, 16’x25’x118’
structural engineer: structural grace
steel fabrication: magnum companies
roll forming: paramount roll forming
photos: sean deckert courtesy of scottsdale public art

rawhide wash is a major desert wash in the scottsdale area. rare but intense flash floods occasionally flooded scottsdale road and made it impassable. with the construction of the new bridge, this issue is now of the past.

the 185 feet long and 150 feet wide bridge is a simple concrete platform. neither the elevation nor the amount of traffic lanes change on the bridge. the wash bed is dry the majority of time. all these factors obscure the perception of a major waterway. in order to bring the presence of a waterway back into consciousness of passersby we created an undulating wave-like structure that spans over the 14 feet wide pedestrian, equestrian and bicycle path on the east side of the bridge. this wave-like structure is reminiscing of the front wave of a flash flood.

the structure consists of 5 steel ribbons that were rolled and twisted to arch from the southern portion of the bridge edge to the northern portion of the vehicle barrier. each ribbon takes on a slightly different shape.

different types of passersby have a different perception of the artwork according to their mode of travel: the majority of viewers of the artwork are motorized. to them, the piece stands out as a landmark and transforms with the viewer’s changing perspective: the structure appears dynamic, since the front and back layers of the different shaped ribbons creates a moiré effect when viewed in passing. on the other hand, the public art piece enhances the pedestrian and bicyclist experience by creating a more sheltered and interesting space: they move through a multi-dimensional space created by the arches above and their shadows on the ground.

sodo

permanent public art installation at the spokane street viaduct in sodo, seattle, wa
client: seattle office of arts & cultural affairs

material: mineral paint on concrete
size: ±300 columns, ±3’x3’x22’
paint: keim mineral coatings
painting contractor: seattle painting specialists
stencil fabrication: pure black inc
photos: spike mafford, merge

sodo is a large-scale paint application on about 300 columns that hold up the spokane street viaduct. our goal was to enliven the whole space underneath the viaduct and to create a rhythm of eight distinct identifiable zones within the large space. the installation as a whole creates an identifying marker for sodo within the city of seattle.

in the last 200 years sodo has experienced a dramatic transformation from tidal flats to industrial area to a center of warehousing, packaging and distribution of goods. in our artwork we are using the over-arching image of barcodes to “label” the many layers that constitute sodo’s history. the use of barcodes points to sodo’s present reality, while the information encoded in the barcodes refers to a much deeper identity hidden beneath the surface: rather than just naming a product, the encoded words evoke stories / history related to the site.

graphically, the barcodes serve as the medium that weaves together the several layers of the site’s identity into one narrative. in addition to the barcodes, each of the stories is represented in an image/ product, condensed into a simple icon. these icons are used to create patterns that visually interact with the barcodes. a simple text layer is added to loosely hint at the stories behind the patterns.

sodo was part of the public art’s network (pan) 2013 year in review at the americans for the arts conference. the pan year in review annually recognizes outstanding public art projects that represent the most compelling works created in the prior year in the united states.

sign of the horse

public art installation on the orsini bridge, figueroa street at cesar chavez boulevard, los angeles, ca
client: gh palmer associates for the community redevelopment agency of the city of los angeles

materials: fritted glass, reflective traffic film, steel
size: two faces of pedestrian bridge, 110’x7’x6”
art consultant: beatrix barker & associates
glass contractor: glaspro
traffic film application: zumar
glass installation: crabtree glass
photos: larry hirshowitz, merge

the premise of the project was to design a scenic gateway to chinatown utilizing images related to the chinese zodiac at a pedestrian bridge across north figueroa street.

in our artwork we created the illusion of horses moving across the bridge, aiming at a poetic moment of surprise when the viewer experiences wild animals moving through urban space.

a 7’ high glass-steel structure was applied to the exterior sides of the bridge. to achieve the illusion of movement the structure consisted of two layers: the front layer acted like a screen, while the back layer was composed of overlapping motion phases. the screen layer let the viewer experience only one of these image phases at a time. through the motion of the viewer passing under the bridge, the relationship of the two layers shifted and a different motion stage of the animal became visible, thus creating the impression of a moving animal. this illusion worked similarly to a “moiré effect”, a phenomenon well known since the beginning of the 20th century.

the front and back layers of the installation were made of laminated glass. the front “screen layer” was installed as a continuous glass surface with a rhythm of opaque stripes printed onto it. the images on the back layer were applied with a reflective traffic film, thus making them especially alive at night, when a passing car’s lights hit the bridge.

the project was illegally decommissioned in 2012 after the community redevelopment agency of los angeles was dissolved. the client replaced it with a traditional coat of arms reflecting his personal aesthetic preferences.

overcoat

color concept and tile artwork for usc medical center (t47) and california state university los angeles (t48) bus-way stations, los angeles, ca
client: los angeles county metropolitan transportation authority

materials: paint, ceramic tile
tile fabrication: heath ceramics
tile meshing: precision h2o
photos: courtesy of Metro © 2006 LACMTA, merge

the challenge at both bus-way stations was to convert unappealing, utilitarian structures next to a freeway into more attractive environments through new color schemes and tile applications.

at the usc medical center’s bus-way station, the choice of two green and three blue tints counteracts the gray color palette of the immediate surroundings (the interstate 10 freeway and the adjacent railway). the 1970s’ station with a stern atmosphere became transformed into a playful array of color spaces.

the tile application in the station repeats the colors of the paint scheme and forms mosaics of several graphic icons. the icon subjects were derived from the surrounding area of the station as well as the destinations of the bus lines.

at the second bus-way station at cal state la, tints of reds were used to brighten up the station. the basis of the paint scheme for this station was the observation of an ever occurring problem at the site: graffiti. instead of trying to paint over graffiti with a color that is supposed to (but never really does) match the under-laying color, the maintenance staff was provided with rectangular stencils to paint over the graffiti with four distinct red tints. this process of over-coating will create an intentional, random pattern over time that directly reacts to the urban phenomenon of graffiti. it makes the dynamic of tagging and over-coating part of the artwork. additionally, tile applications in two areas of this station work graphically with a similar color palette and rectilinear patterns.