In collaboration with Peter Halquist, Rick McGarry and Colin O'Keefe
Poseidon's Steps is a fun, interactive playa structure that brings the geometric beauty of the golden ratio to life. Straight from the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, this installation provides a visual, tactile, and interactive environment for burners to inhabit, climb, and lounge upon.
Following the theme for Burning Man 2016, our structure is comprised of 16 nested rhombicuboctahedrons, a shape straight from Da Vinci’s De divina proportione . This archimedean solid is made of 18 squares and 8 triangular faces which combine to create a complex and beautiful geometry. Each component is a modular unit, assisting in construction as well as aesthetic beauty. The module parameters are based upon a human-scale, the square’s width corresponding to the length of a human’s shoulder width and the height corresponding to a human’s wingspan. The RhomBunctuous’ human relatability will demonstrate the way the divine proportion dictates a human’s anatomy, creating a stunning example of anatomical aesthetic beauty dictating the scale of an architectural form.
Each solid is designed with the space for one person’s extended arms in any direction. When nested together, they invite and enable collaboration, creating meaningful interactions for a variety of group sizes. The structure empowers the individual and enables the creation of a building block with which to create a community. RhomBunctuous reinforces individuality, creativity, and personal space while creating a unity - a sum greater than the individual parts. A visual tour de force, this structure is designed to be irresistible to climb upon, walk through, swing on, dance within, while the various levels of hammocks will provide a place to converse, observe, and relax amidst the surrounding dusty barren playa.
RhomBunctious is a conscious effort to jar the viewer from the tedious norm of day-to-day life, to harness the senses and create a feeling of intense relation and creation. It is a celebration of that most human trait - not the ability and the need to create, but instead the yearning to share that art with others. Our structure is the gift to someone never met, of an artform that demands interaction, touch, and exploration. RhomBunctious will juxtapose the observer into the role of the medium, using the installation as catalyst.
This structure isn’t simply the transformation of a space, but a transformation of the viewer. Its design invites interaction in exploring the perspective of the modules from outside, inside, and throughout. The scale was chosen to create a substantial structure to be seen from a distance, yet human-scaled so as to invite climbing and engagement, shifting one’s perspective of the playa, the structure, and themselves as they ascend.
With an interactive, digitized light system, the cubes will be visible for hundreds of yards encouraging wanderers to explore and engage, dimming and shifting the lights cube by cube until each module is personalized and each interaction unique.