Last Wednesday, April 23, WAM Collective hosted Elements, the third annual design competition and runway show featuring University of Minnesota student designers at the Weisman Art Museum. This year, 16 student designers were asked to take inspiration from the museum’s spring exhibition. “Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined.” Siberia is as much a mythic construct—associated with vastness, remoteness, and coldness—as it is a physical place that occupies more than 12 percent of the land on earth. Its rich natural resources have sustained indigenous…
The goal of the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration is to bring together cross-disciplinary teams for intense periods of collaboration to generate new ideas. Collaborations like this design competition spotlight the modern artist’s role in creating and communicating ideas.
The Target Studio for Creative Collaboration accepted proposals from interdisciplinary teams with experience in the design of public spaces with each team including an artist. Four teams were selected from the proposals: firm 4RM+ULA, working with artists Roger Cummings, Satoko Muratake, and Seitu Kenneth Jones; firm SEH Planning and Urban Design, working with artist Christopher Baker; firm VJAA (Vincent James and Jennifer Yoos), working with HouMinn Practice (Marc Swackhamer and Blair Satterfield), and artist Diane Willow, associate professor at the University of Minnesota; and firm Coen + Partners, working with artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.
The competition focused on the bridge plaza on the east end of Washington Avenue Bridge. It is a thoroughfare for bikers and pedestrians. Students, staff, faculty and visitors to the Twin Cities Campus inhabit this important connection. Notable for its magnificent views of the Mississippi River and access to the west bank campus as well as the new Science Teaching Student Services building and WAM, more than 20,000 people pass through this space on a daily basis. The design competition challenged the four selected teams to create ideas for high quality public spaces to encourage interaction and create a model for the next generation of campus public spaces.
On October 26, 2011 the four teams presented their final ideas to a jury that was comprised of public space experts and supporters from the WAM and the University of Minnesota community. Firm VJAA (Vincent James and Jennifer Yoos),working with HouMinn Practice (Marc Swackhammer and Blair Satterfield), and artist Diane Willow, associate professor at the University of Minnesota was determined the winner of the design competition.
On view in the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration are items of the creative process of each team. Each team has four areas of concentration to display their process; team members, analysis of site, inspiration, and design ideas. These areas of focus are displayed through physical objects such as drawings or photographs, as well as videos of the team members describing their creative process. The next phase of the project will be to hold public meetings with the winning team to refine the design and implement the plan.