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May 5, 2012

An Art Gallery-Sized Hammock

It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie — the type of nest an alien might emerge from — but the WHITE Book Show installation is actually a gigantic hammock made by 20 architecture students from Studio 400 at California Polytechnic State University.

The webbing is made of woven white plastic sheeting and is big enough to fill a 416 square meter (4,500 square foot) gallery, in which the ceiling, walls and floors were also draped in stark white sheet plastic to create a cocoon-like aesthetic.

“We wanted to create a continuous surface that would bring spatial interest and social interaction to the gallery,” the students explained. “The woven installation is a solution to providing students and faculty a setting to not only read about our projects, but also to enjoy the space.”

The video below shows the creative process and assembly of the WHITE project, which comprises 7,432 square meters (80,000 square feet) of plastic sheeting. After mock-up designs were created and the “rope” pre-fabricated, it took about three days to actually install the gargantuan hammock, which was hung from sturdy columns. The choice of plastic sheeting as the construction material was well thought over by the budding architects who chose it “for its flexibility and strength, economic viability given the large space, and its abilities to be easily modified and reused,” according to ArchDaily.

More than being a unique project that served as a work of art, architecture and innovative seating, the WHITE project was designed as a creative way to display a book show. The research books, which were tucked inside contrasting black covers and housed inside vertical columns, could then be enjoyed by both staff and students from the comfort of the dips in the suspended hammock. Those who wanted to avoid climbing the installation were given the option to sit on cushioned seating areas below (also made of white plastic sheeting, of course).

What a creative way to encourage people to sit, stay and enjoy for a while — a comfortable seating area is a quality many galleries lack, but the WHITE installation actually invites visitors to take their time and get cozy. It is also a dream come true for those hammock-lovers out there who have always dreamed of sharing the comfort of a netted pod with others — whether rain or shine, a gigantic hammock might just be the perfect place to hang out with a group of friends.

A few more images of the WHITE hammock installation in San Luis Obispo, California follow.

Have you ever been to a gallery or exhibit that encouraged patrons to sit or relax for a while in a creative way?

Images via DesignRulz