room within

public art enhancements for the vta santa clara – alum rock bus rapid transit project, san jose, ca
client: valley transportation authority (vta) in conjunction with the san jose public art program

pattern concept development, community outreach and research in collaboration with corinne takara
various pattern designs in collaboration with jose pimienta
king street stations in collaboration with rick moreno
story street sb ceiling by raul delgado

materials: glass, painted aluminum, concrete w/ inlays
size: art treatment in 18 shelters, ±12x8’x8’
glass: triview industries
metal fabricator: magnum companies
concrete: concreteworks
photos: gary shatan, merge

eighteen bus shelter along the santa clara-alum rock bus rapid transit line received art enhancements with the goal to reinforce a coherent identity of the transit line.

the art enhancements consist of three elements – a glass wind screen, metal ceiling panels, and concrete pavers that create a distinct space within each shelter. while the details and materials of these treatments remain the same at each shelter, the patterns vary to give each shelter a unique identity. each station location i.e. north and southbound is defined by one specific color to further strengthen each station’s geographical identity on the transit line.

patterns were derived from stories and elements related to the surrounding neighborhood of each station: detailed research and intense community input helped to select topics that are sometimes historic, and other times contemporary in their reference.

for example, one of the 18 shelters derived its story from the ice arena located at close proximity to the shelter. motifs were created from a flying puck, marks left at the hockey rink after a san jose sharks game (traces on ice, puck marks on bounds), and traditional figure skating instructions.

another station derived its story from local dairies, formerly a prime industry in the area, and now mostly vanished. historic images of dairies and artifacts related to them informed these patterns.

eastbound

17th street
24th street
jackson avenue
alum rock avenue
ocala avenue

westbound

17th street
24th street
jackson avenue
alum rock avenue
ocala avenue

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.

out of sight

shade canopy and seating for a light rail station, metro blue line, willow station, long beach, ca
client: los angeles county metropolitan transportation authority

materials: glass w/ photographic interlayer, steel, concrete w/ relief
size: 9’x30’x1’
structural engineer: brad w. smith
steel contractor: paragon steel
glass contractor: arch aluminum and glass
concrete contractor: quickcrete
willow photograph: alexandr bravo
photos: courtesy of metro © 2006 lacmta, merge

willow station is a busy light rail station along the metro blue line, which links the areas of los angeles and long beach. the premise for this project was the need for platform seating elements as well as a shade structure. the canopy structure utilizes existing pillars for support.

the focus of our artwork is a passenger’s experience when looking out of a train car: watching the passing landscape, a traveler can observe an object from far away, slowly coming close, then for a moment see it almost as a still, frontal image before it disappears out of sight. the memory of a moment can stay in the mind of the observer, almost like a photograph, but the actual image has passed.

in our design we are working with the quality of fleeting images, similar to one’s experience in travel. two photographic images appear on a folded canopy construction. through the special structure of the canopy only one fragmented image can be seen from either platform direction as it is approached. upon approaching there is one moment when one image becomes perfectly aligned and perceivable. upon passing this view point the second image comes into view and fragments the first image. from underneath the canopy both images are equally in view, breaking each other into stripes. the viewer standing right under the canopy also perceives a stretch distortion to the images.

the choice of images is a play on the present and past conditions encountered at the site: the “urban canopy” of the train cables as opposed to the “natural canopy” of the willow trees that once grew right there.

in addition to the canopy, two precast-concrete benches were installed. the benches are inscribed with text fragments which cue the user to the thought process behind the canopy: posing questions about one’s experience of travel and relating to the history of the site.