Seattle, Washington


LMN Culture

Responding to the “Design Change” theme of the 2016 Seattle Design Festival, 26 teams created interactive pavilions for the 2-day Block Party held in Occidental Park, ranging from whimsical expressions of form and materiality, to experimentation with technology, to conversation starters about housing and environmental issues. Designers from LMN contributed 4 projects, each working in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of designers and builders. Below, Rushyan Yen and Matthew Fisher discuss the making of REVOLUTION. Also check out KaleidosculptureGrover, and RainSound Experience in this series.

Describe the concept of the piece in your own words.

Our world is changing to become increasingly connected through transportation, energy, communication and environmental systems. Yet with this connectivity more barriers than ever before seem to exist. These barriers between race, social class, nationalities, gender and more feel like walls that separate us but are in reality made of immaterial things – as insubstantial as wire and air.

The wires that make up REVOLUTION are a reflection of this global connectivity which at first appear to create boundaries that separate us.  Yet, though a series of calculated rotations of the wires, openings are created and spaces of human interaction are possible. The tension of each string across the wooden frame furthermore create sound when plucked – providing opportunities for music through mutual collaboration and camaraderie.

What was your favorite part of the project?

As architects, our designs are often heavily influenced by client opinions and we don’t often get to personally build the designs we visualize.

This year’s theme of “Design Change” took us down a very exciting and enriching journey of exploration to question our role as designers and the power we have to react to and affect change on a massive scale.  Our favorite parts of the project revolved around these discussions and the resulting creative process to give voice to a topic that is important to us.

Ultimately, watching visitors interact with the installation in ways that we had not originally envisioned was especially rewarding.

What was the worst part, were you ever nervous putting this together?

The most challenging aspects had to do with the logistics of fabricating our design. Since we were creating REVOLUTION without the help of contractors or sponsorship we struggled to find construction space, storage, tools and money to bring our design to life.  There were definitely many moments when we had doubts that we’d be able to actually pull this off.  Thankfully one of us would always motivate the team and keep the dream alive.

What is one thing you hope people get out of experiencing the installation?

REVOLUTION aims to be a testimony of the possibility of using design to transform the things that separate us into beautiful art and music. Through this installation we hope to empower people to create openings in the cages that bind us and turn these barriers into sources of unity and communication.

What will you take away from this process?

Design is only one small aspect of making an installation come to life. Communication between team members, scheduling, fabrication and finances are all critical components to success. The unity and communication we were hoping to symbolize through our installation was in the end exemplified through our design process.