Located on the Cornell University Arts Quad, URCHIN follows the 2016 CCA focus on the “cultural production of empathy.” The spiky, donut-shaped pavilion was designed using 3D-modeling software. The porous structure measures 37.5 feet in width, over 7.5 feet in height, and has a round seven-foot opening in its center. The seats are held together with metal connectors and are carefully positioned to maintain a stable form that can withstand strong gusts of wind.
“Due to its aggregation and rotation, the object loses its familiar and functional relationship with the human body, so that its other qualities and implications can come to the fore,” says CODA. “URCHIN plays with the question of usefulness and uselessness by the manipulation of the simple chair, and consequently our perception of the chair and the connection between our bodies, the chair’s components and their orientations. The question of use as a primary perceptual phenomenon is a product of James J. Gibson’s Theory of Affordances in his Ecological Approach to Visual Perception.” None of the chairs were damaged in the making and will be reused after the pavilion is dismantled. The pavilion will be displayed until December 22, 2016.
Images via CODA, Joe Wilensky, John Lai