Each year, the students of Morgan State University’s Architecture and Environmental Design program transform recycled materials into an interactive pavilion for the city’s Artscape festival. For 2013, the team designed D1, a colorful Buckminster Fuller-inspired structure that stretched down the middle of a street in the festival. The students used repurposed fabric and tarps to create a triangular shaped canopy that housed a DJ booth and music venue for festival goers to enjoy.
The geometric canopy, which echoes Fuller’s iconic geodesic dome, was designed to use as little material as possible. The frame was made from light weight EMT, a metal used for electrical raceways that contains over 60 percent recycled content. The EMT was used to create the triangular frames that make up the canopy, much like Fuller’s designs. After Artscape was over, the frames were disassembled, and the team saved 1,900 of the 2,000 linear feet for future use.
The fabric that covered the frame was made from repurposed fabric and tarps, and it was recycled after the festival was over. Underneath the colorful canopy, stacks of colorful boxes were arranged for visitors to climb and sit upon. Each box was made from salvaged oriented strand board panels, and will be reused as seats and storage crates for the university in the future. The students also used repurposed windshield washer drums for foundational support for the canopy, and later turned them into rain barrels. Each year, the project provides an example of sustainable design for the people of Baltimore, by showcasing innovative uses for salvaged materials.