RICHMOND, CA - The result of a long-standing collaboration with renowned Bay Area sculptor and mixed-media artist Mildred Howard, this piece dresses up the nondescript exterior of a new parking garage in Richmond's mass-transit hub complex.
Two 12'x40' weathering-steel billboards feature the poetry of local luminary Ishmael Reed and recall the industrial and ship-building heritage of the area's factories.
Faceted panel geometry alternately obscures and reveals the text as one moves around the building, and as differing light conditions play across the facade throughout the day.
Each steel panel is custom-cut and -bent to fall within narrow structural parameters of stiffness and spacing of connection points to the support framework behind.
These physical constraints are reconciled with the layout of the text itself, so that composition and geometry work hand-in-hand with the cadence and syncopation of Reed's poem, "Moving Richmond."
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Collaborating with artist Mildred Howard and Winder Liebes Architects, PROTOinc developed parametric computer models to deform the brass letters of this poem-as-sculpture.
Real-time tweaks of the computer model by the artist and project team allowed for a fluid and empirical design process.
Since technical and cost demands of surface-finishing precluded contemporary digital fabrication techniques, these formations were transcribed into elaborate drawings to guide a complex manual process of grinding down the brass to its final shape. Images Copyright Mildred Howard, 2008.