"Let it Snow" Chinook Blast Winter Installation
This art installation began as an in-school project. After submitting the work to a design competition, the installation was modified and brought to life for the City of Calgary's Chinook Blast Festival.
In-school project timeline: 6 weeks
Festival Installation timeline: 6 weeks
The concept for this project was the celebration of winter. The design created embraced the winter landscape and incorporated it as part of its structure instead of fighting against it.
Through a series of deliverables and feedback sessions, the concept was refined into a winter mobile, aiming to enhance and showcase the life and whimsy of the winter landscape. A prototype was completed and presented for the final school project.
Pivot: Winter City Design Competition Submission
Six months after the completion of the winter project in studio, I decided to submit to Calgary Winter City Design Competition. While the submission did not win the competition, it did attract the eye of the City Planners. They reached out to ask if the design I had submitted could be implemented in another part of the city as a part of the Calgary Chinook Blast Festival. I agreed, and another series of iterations began.
The planned installation site was near Eau Claire Market in downtown Calgary. The site featured a wide detour pathway with high foot traffic and a tunnel-like structure created by the temporary hoarding walls.
I began thinking of ways to implement my mobiles on this site. There were height and width constraints, as emergency vehicles had to be able to pass through the pathway. This significantly altered the scale and structure of the design.
The final concept for the site utilized the structure already available. Temporary light fixtures along the pathway created a natural vertical structure to mount the mobiles. Lumber was swapped for cable as the horizontal support to alleviate dead load and highlight the mobiles over their supporting structure.
Material Sourcing and Manufacturing
The material for the installation was sourced in Calgary. Alongside the material sourcing, I was also responsible for obtaining design insurance and organizing with the contractors on-site for the installation process.
Once the material was sourced, prototypes were completed with sample cuts of acrylic and ready to buy hardware. After testing with lighting, it was found that a specific angle of the LEDs was necessary to illuminate the acrylic.
The mobiles were assembled by hand in Calgary.
The installation took place over three days. First, aircraft cable was strung across the pathway and appropriately tensioned. The next two days were spent mounting the acrylic mobiles and attaching the LED lights. This was done by the contracting team as advised by myself.
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