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  • Writer's pictureDavid Mans

Celebrate Brooklyn Friends Tent

Designed for Coggan Crawford


The concept as established by CCS was to develop a topiary of light and shadow for the contributors to the Celebrate Brooklyn performance series. The installation was to freeze the sky scape of the park through the night maintaining a contextual sensibility in the absence of natural light. In response, the pattern developed as the isolation of 3 local leaf types and a five-stage abstract morphing process held in a branching lattice as a textural component to create a diverse lattice. Fabrication, using Tyvek and a laser cutter, produced an enormous cost to lifetime ratio and simplicity of reproduction for future applications. Beginning from an interest in maintaining the Zen principles of appearance natural randomness through systematic control and the concept from No theater of all elements even the audience being a component of the performance, a rich series of criteria and opportunities emerged.

By creating a system which deals in scale, rotation, density, morphological diversity as parameters of deployment, a seemingly natural light scape could be produced that responded to specified occupant locations, opening above service area’s to expose more light and closing above seating area’s to produce a more intimate environment. Through a custom developed methodology of production, this program could be sketched into the drawing as a diagram which, when acted upon by the system produced a fraying and softening of the pattern, masking the intent in an ambient transition from one need to the next. At the level of detail, the “leaf” formations often maintain a connection to the main field through only the “stem” portion of the figure, allowing each piece hang loosely from the larger pattern creating a fray which moves in the wind, bringing life to the ceiling. The resulting light scape gently hovers above the occupants, creating textural richness at the level of detail, visual intrigue upon approach and a soft tone from a distance, so as not to draw attention from the performance space.


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