Second Story Design Team
The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at the Arizona State University Tempe Campus
It possesses an intricate rich molding and presents a relatively special complexity, through a simple construction of its parts. The proposal achieves the objective of intervening in a passageway and giving new use to a possibly underestimated or underused local one.
It promotes the social sharing and interaction and the choice of material, used in a conscience form, and is not viewed in a negative way.
To the organic form joins the blue coloring and invites the passerby to admire not a corridor, but a space of coexistence.
Peritoneum is a freestanding organic shade and seating structure constructed to turn a transient campus location into an attractive public destination. Designed and implemented by a student team composed of three landscape architects, one graphic designer, and an artist. The organic nature of the structure is meant to create the feel of a comfortable and immersive environment that people would enjoy interacting with. Being set in a desert climate, the color palette for the structure was chosen to contrast the harsh nature of the surroundings by focusing on cooler blue and purple hues.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The problem that was to be solved with this project was the need to bring in more students and faculty to the square that is in between the School of Art and The Design School at the Arizona State University Tempe Campus. The context of the project was an annual competition to activate that campus spacial element with either a structure or proper annual programming. The challenge was that the budget was $20,000 and had to be able to sustain the elements for the whole academic year. Also, the project had to be very sustainable and fit within the outline of the square space. The goal was to transform a transient space into an active campus destination.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
Peritoneum is a unique example of an exercise in collaborative student design. Meant to turn a transient campus location into an attractive public destination, Peritoneum is a freestanding organic shade and seating structure. Implemented by a student team composed of three landscape architects, one graphic designer, and an artist, Peritoneum is strictly a collaborative effort to demonstrate the strength of interdisciplinary design work. With every member of the team working on an equal plane, the level of collaboration was extremely balanced, as demonstrated by the success of the structure. As the graphic designer on the project it was my role to think about the visual impact of the structure. I developed the color palette that ended up defining the space and helped the structure stand out from the rest of the campus since the colors that were utilized are not usually found in the desert campus environment.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
At the tallest point the structure is 12 feet tall and the 45 slats once bound together make a 45 foot long immersive space. The main material utilized for construction of the arches was plywood. The plywood arches were cut in pieces by a local Tempe Arizona fabrication shop and delivered back to the site in pieces. Once the wood arch pieces were on site, the team put them back together like a puzzle. Each arch is constructed with two sides sandwiched together with wood glue and screws to strengthen the plywood. Once the arches were sandwiched together they were painted with exterior grade paint to make an additional weather barrier. The arches are anchored together by one long metal spine that runs through the center of the structure. As each arch was erected, the spine would get hammered through a hole that was drilled through the center of that piece. Once all 45 arches were up, the lateral movement was minimal due to the fact that all the arches were braced together via that spine. Besides the initial cutting of the arch pieces by the fabrication shop all of the construction was done on site by the student design team. With every member of the team working on an equal plane, the level of collaboration was extremely balanced, as demonstrated by the success of the structure.
The surrounding area of the square is filled with hard lines and rigid forms. To offset the feeling of this space, Peritoneum is a structure that is very much organic in construction. Composed of 45 individual plywood slats, once connected together the space envelops the audience to create a unique immersive experience. Each slat is a unique shape that brings about a dynamic sense of change both internally and externally as people travel through the spaces. The nature of the Arizona desert environment is usually one of intense heat, especially in the summer. The major goal of the project was to create a successful cooling element within the structure. The team thought that Peritoneum would only truly draw people in if it offered relief from the Tempe elements, especially the summer heat. In order to do this the team researched the sun angles of the outdoor space in order to find a line to properly place the structure on. With the wooden slats successfully blocking the sun, the internal temperature of Peritoneum remains significantly cooler than other outdoor spaces, even in the hottest of weather. This cooling effect, along with the multitude of different seating incorporated within the structure, makes for a welcomed public space. Since the drive for a temperature decrease was so important, the team also decided to pull the color palette from an iceberg.
The preexisting space of the square was one that was always utilized as a transient space for students to walk from class to class as they move between buildings. The value of Peritoneum is that it transformed the square into a campus destination. Now instead of people walking through without paying much mind to the surrounding environment, people are able to sit down and engage with the environment. The social gains from Peritoneum are immense because the square is now utilized for many performances and meetings which further add to the creative environment around the Art and Design Schools.
Another important aspect of the project is the sustainability of the construction. Even though the structure is almost composed entirely of plywood, the team was sure that very little wood was wasted in the construction process. By carefully laying out the cut sheets for the fabricator, whatever excess that was left could be made into portable seating elements that are placed throughout the interior and exterior of the structure. The little scrap that remained was donated to Arizona State University art students for implementation into personal projects. All of these steps significantly cut down on overall waste. What started as an interdisciplinary project for art and design students has successfully turned into something that leaves a lasting impression on an ever growing university campus in dire need of more outdoor interactive space.