Seattle Design Festival 2014: "Wover"

Seattle, Washington

Collaborators:

Design:

Matt Noren, Tarboo

Clay Anderson, LMN Architects

Contractor:

Andrew Powell, Hoffman Construction

Team:

Jonathan French, Taylor Massey, Sarah Kia, SL Rao, Aimee O'Caroll, Darrell McKinney, Jayne Jaderholm, Ekaterina Wright

Photographer:

Jennifer Burke

Selected Awards

2014 AIA Seattle Honor Awards

Honorable Mention

Wover the woven rocker is a community installation designed for public use, relaxation, and playful engagement. The project was a collaborative design-build for the 2014 Seattle Design Festival: ‘Design in Motion’, a weekend-long event in downtown Seattle’s Occidental Park. Two principles guided the design: scaling up traditional textile production to a human-sized inhabitable structure, and festival theme, ‘Design in Motion.’ The result is a dynamic rocking structure that invites you to relax, sit, play, and entices collaboration with total strangers to rock it.

The festival theme ‘Design in Motion’ inspired the team to create an installation that was non-static. The goal was to build something highly interactive which provided a fun experience for the public. The early concept sketch and prototypes evolved into an architectural piece that encourages the public to literally move a giant, dynamic rocker. The installation was a challenge in many ways, and presented an intriguing architectural and engineering problem for the design team. Overall, the team gained a great deal from rethinking how to design a piece of architecture with the additional aspect of motion.

In the final design, Wover is a 15 feet long by 7 feet high community rocker constructed of nine exposed plywood ribs. The ribs are held together by multiple steel rods within the interior of the structure, which are wrapped in a hand woven polypropylene webbing. Each of the ribs were CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) milled specifically to suspend the webbing. The team took on the challenge of laminating the ribs individually and assembling the whole structure by hand. Concurrently, the polypropylene webbing was sewn in strips at Tarboo, a handmade clothing shop in Seattle. Afterwards, the strips were weaved together to create the comfortable interior of the rocker. The resulting geometry was derived for optimal rock-ability and comfort while lounging in the structure. The form also gives the rocker its equilibrium to sway and consistently reside back to its center.

The ribbed structure became a great place to climb and explore. Even adults found interesting and unexpected ways to play with Wover. Some just relaxed and some played. The community came together to enjoy the temporary weekend installation at the design block party. Everyone seemed to have fun creating the rocking motion on Wover from young children to adults.