TRIANGULA CUBOIDEA – Art & Architecture

I’m not sure what to call this exploration of form. Is it architecture? Is it sculpture? Perhaps it straddles both realms. I’ve been using the form of the cuboid (blocks) to build more complex Euclidean structures like pyramids and octahedrons. This structure diverges into architecture with gabled cantilevers. Built up with blocks I like to think of as pixels in 3d, eight intersecting triangular sections cantilever out from their starting points, the midpoint of the structure, four on top and four reversed on the bottom. The void left over at its center expresses absence and the ephemeral as the structure appears to be dissolving. The blocks edges are vestigial traces composed of wood bars held together with steel connectors and bolts whose tracery is analogous to a wireframe view of a 3d model.

This is a departure from sculptures in steel, traditionally used in outdoor sculpture, with its construction in sustainably forested wood with steel being the connective tissue holding it together which speaks to sustainability to combat the climate crisis and a connection to nature.

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HELPING HASHTAGS – Proposal for Cleveland Public Art Pavilion

Scroll down to read HELPING HASHTAGS Statement

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HELPING HASHTAGS is an architectural pavilion that merges art, social media and social issues into an iconic transformative place of hope and optimism for the future of a better Cleveland for all of its citizens. As an art object unto itself, the hash symbol with its use in hash-tagging represents our modern times, where data is turned into meta-data; where information is categorized and made searchable; where so many find their voices amongst the billions of souls vying to be seen and heard to share joys, beauty, injustices, sadness…and so much more, elevating our humanity. People can engage with it on multiple levels, many personal as social media is weaved into our lives just as the wood members weave together to form this symbol in the zeitgeist. But it also presents questions. How is social media impacting the issues of our times? Institutions, advocacy groups, non-profits and individuals use social media to help answer and address these issues by bringing awareness to their mission, raise funds and showcase the work they do.

A series of interlaced mass-timber glulam members forming hash signs on its 4 sides and on the top, sit on 4 concrete plinths with spaces between them to allow people to walk into the structure. The concrete plinths are bench height so people can sit on them. For HELPING HASHTAGS structure, I choose to use the material mass-timber to bring attention to sustainability in going forward in the building our city and infrastructure. Large public art sculptures have traditionally been dominated by being fabricated in steel. Using mass-timber is a departure, emphasizing an environmental component that speaks to sustainability to combat climate change. Mass-timber is being used as structural systems to support modern buildings, including in our city, in response to the ever growing need to build sustainably and for buildings to achieve LEED certification.

The morphology of the design of HELPING HASHTAGS starts with the Euclidean platonic solid the Rhombohedron. Because a rhombohedron’s six faces are rhombuses, they are not square and when placed with one side horizontal, the vertical sides lean at an angle. I used this platonic solid because a distinguishing and dynamic characteristic of the hash sign is that its vertical bars are slanted. The members of the structure are inscribed within this geometric solid giving it its dynamic lean of 7 degrees. If you can picture in your mind the lines of the perimeter edges extended to meet each other, you may visualize this rhombohedron.

The openings between the concrete plinths occur between the mass-timber vertical bars of the hash signs inviting visitors to enter the pavilion. Once inside, on these mass-timber members are aluminum plaques that have etched into them, hashtags that relate to a host of issues that society and our city face; environmental sustainability, food insecurity, violence prevention, matters of diversity, equity and inclusion, black maternal-fetal health, food deserts, redlined communities, disability and physical and mental health and more. These hashtags will not be determined by me but by the citizens of Cleveland. An initiative will be brought to the public to request hashtags that relate to these issues and the issues they face personally that they would like to have etched into the marker. For example, a pregnant mother might apply to the request with #HealthyBaby. An environmentally minded citizen might request #SustainableFuture. An African American citizen in a food desert with diabetes might request #InvestInNutrition and placed next to another person’s #EradicateDiabetes. A LGBTQ individual might request #LoveIsLove. There will be space for approximately 400 of these hashtags. These hashtags will be of a certain size. But in addition to these hashtags, highlighted on larger plaques in noticeably larger font, will be those of institutions/non-profits that advocate to address the hashtags penned by Cleveland residents. These institutions will be asked what hashtag represents them. There will be space for approximately 40 of these. HELPING HASTAGS will be a place to bring awareness to these often unsung entities and to bring to the forefront the forces that bring us together in the theater of social media against those darker forces using social media to divide us.

HELPING HASHTAGS will become a fixture of the neighborhood and its iconic presence will become known citywide inviting visitors to enter and experience it. It will sit on a plaza, inviting large groups to assemble next to it. It will be a backdrop to cultural events; dance, music and theater. A covered electrical outlet will be placed in the floor inside the pavilion and outlets placed on each side outside the pavilion for projectors to be connected. Projection mapping is a projection technique used to turn objects into display surfaces for video projection. Artists working in this medium will be invited to create immersive experiences on the interior and exterior of the pavilion.

HELPING HASHTAGS is about advocacy, hope, determination and good will. The City of Cleveland is a great city and like all cities, it has ills that persist. HELPING HASHTAGS is a beacon to action; to fix; to heal; to unite.

In Print – Model Citizen 3d Printed Sculptures in Think Magazine

think, is the magazine of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The new fall/winter 2015 edition is out with an article about the move of thinkbox to the Richey Mixon Building. I’m honored that my 3d printed sculptures, “Model Citizens”, were mentioned and shown on the page titled Meet Some Makers.
I created them at Thinkbox at CWRU, a special facility that has state of the art equipment in the new revolution occurring in fabrication. Just think, in the past, an idea by a student,  just stayed an idea in the head. Now the student can think it, then draw it and now make it into a physical object. Thinkbox is moving to their new location, the newly renovated Richey Mixon Building, a 7 story building which through smart adaptive re-use, re-purposed the building for a new state-of-the-art hub for bringing new ideas to life.
At Thinkbox, the main bodies of the sculptures were printed on a industrial quality 3d printer. A CNC Routing machine cut solid maple into precise shapes that fit into the main body.

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The other makers on the page have made amazing things; a portable tester using a single drop of blood to provide near-immediate medical information; A walker, chair and caddy all in one to help individuals with physical limitations do household duties more easily; a custom off-road mini baha vehicle built by CWRU Motorsports Baja team; Compliant Modular Mesh Worm, a robot device that mimics how a worm propels itself to navigate through tight spaces. Applications would include much better inspection and repair of piping systems.

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“Model Citizens”on display April-May 2015 at University Hospitals Case Western Medical Center

3D – Printing Sculptures Produced Through Grant from the Ohio Arts Council at Case Western Reserve University Think[box]

Thanks to the Ohio Arts Council & Thinkbox Inovation Center at Case Western Reserve University for their support in making possible my mixed media sculptures “Model Citizens”. The Ohio Arts Council provided funding through a grant and Thinkbox provided their facilities, equipment and support to help make them a reality.

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The following is an excerpt from article “Second Life” by Josh Usmani in Cleveland Scene Magazine, December 31, 2014, about exhibition “Bits In Pieces” at Maria Neil Art Project in the Waterloo Arts District in Cleveland:

Bits in Pieces includes Reach’s latest large-scale, geometric digital prints, smaller “whimsies” (as Reach refers to them) and new 3-D printed mixed media sculptures, called Model Citizens. “I wanted to explore ways of making sculpture digitally,” says Reach. “I’ve been enjoying the process of working with 3D printing. I’m mixing other digital fabrication technology into them; parts in wood are cut on a CNC Router that is basically a cutting robot, and the stainless steel base has its pattern laser cut on a laser cutter, another cutting robot.

“In my quest to embrace technology to have a voice, I am just beginning to embark to explore this technology in my art,” he continues. “As an architect, three-dimensional form is always in the background. Making sculptures would be too physically demanding. But when I first learned of 3-D printing it occurred to me that here was a medium that I could produce sculpture without the physicality involved, thus giving me a new avenue of creative expression.”

 

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artwork “Seven Model Citizens” (digital print on canvas) was inspiration for 3D Model Citizens

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On display at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

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Concept Sketches

 

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Screenshot of Autodesk Inventor 3D Solid Modeling Software

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3D rendering of virtual model

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3D rendering of virtual model

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3D rendering of virtual model

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3D rendering of virtual model

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CAD File for Stainless Steel Laser Cut Plate

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3d Printers at Thinkbox

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Shopbot CNC Router at Thinkbox cutting maple parts

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Model Citizens being assembled