Project Unspecified

[ Additional info: The Plastic Infinite, curated by NYU Program Board's Sarah E Rogers and Jeff Sisson. ]

Thank you to all the NYU students and passers-by who joined in the design-construction process!

Project Unspecified was part of an event in which members of the public designed, constructed and inhabited a temporary inflatable structure, sited for one day (April 30, 2007) in Washington Square Park, New York City.

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In the tradition of "barn-raising" where members of a community come together to build a structure to welcome new families, Project Unspecified was a collaborative event for the urban environment, using modular industrial materials (slotted angle metal usually used for shelving) and recycled/repurposed plastic bags.

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Members of the public built structures out of large metal tetrahedra, similar to meccano sets enjoyed by children, though many times bigger. This set of objects provided a solid configurable structure on which to build the flexible and more delicate membranes (assembled like a patchwork quilt from used plastic bags) that inflated towards the end of the day, again as designed by members of the public. (As it happens the wind was so strong that it did more of the inflating than the box fans!).

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The point of the project was that it was the participants themselves, members of the public, who specified the form of the structure, its spaces and how it was occupied. This is contrasted with the converse approach employed in the highly contested redesign of Washington Square Park. For more information on this controversy see the Open Washington Square Park Coalition.

Video documentation, Quicktime: 3 mins, 5Mb file

The structure was occupied towards the beginning of the day by Natalie Jeremijenko and her NYU students and towards the end of the day by sounds and visuals created by Lovid.

At the end of the event the used plastic membrane will be provided to a recycling center for processing.

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November 2013: Please note that Haque Design + Research is now Umbrellium, where more up-to-date information can be found Umbrellium