Last October, this structure was filled with saltwater; you could climb up the curved outer walls, survey the reflective ripples, and jump right in – escaping the desert heat for a refreshing swim. The interior surfaces even had brightly coloured rock-climbing holds, so you could perch yourself at various points in the structure – either to practice diving from different angles or perhaps just take a break. It was a welcoming, man-made oasis in an arid landscape, fifteen miles from human civilisation.
Yucca Crater, designed by Los Angeles-based Ball-Nogues Studio for the two-day event, High Desert Test Sites, in California’s Mojave Desert, was always supposed to be temporary. Since the event, it has been left to the forces of the desert, which presumably has caused that once refreshing water to stagnate and evaporate, and has perhaps provided shelter to several lizard families or something of the sort. The basket-like work has a certain beauty to it; it mimics the surrounding landscape and is structurally reminiscent of hand-crafted weaving methods, with open frames revealing the bright blue sky and interior slats alternately placed providing a rhythmic and boat-like curvature to the inner surfaces.
Interestingly, the entire structure could simply never have been regarded as a “structure” at all. It is actually a byproduct of a previous design project by the same studio. The Talus Dome, produced by Ball-Nogues in 2011 as a sculptural installation for a site in Edmonton, Canada, is completely different in appearance and location. It is a mound of steel spheres, placed beside a busy freeway and often surrounded by snow. The cold connotations of steel and the heaviness it embodies are thrown into stark contrast when compared with the light, dry and airy piece in the desert. Yet, they are of the same mould – literally. In fact, Yucca Crater is the mould, or “formwork”, used to create the mound of steel spheres – inverted and redeployed as a temporary recreational facility, and presently abandoned to the forces of nature.
- Bleed combines nature and generative art to develop identity for Blank Architects
- A real bobby-dazzler, it’s Best of the Web!
- Max Guther is back with more hyper real illustrations visualising social trends
- The Igor has landed: Igor Bastidas on our animated cover for Printed Pages AW17
- Balmer Hählen takes a traditional Swiss design approach to its projects
- Friday Mixtape: a very rare mixtape from the one and only John Carpenter
- Peter Funch has photographed the same people on the same street for nine years
- DBLG and Animade’s cheeky stop-motion animation uses human skin and 3D stamps
- “It needed to be functional, a workhorse”: Arket’s in-house team on its brand identity
- Get to know the fluid work of graphic designer, Steffen Hotel
- Fukt magazine presents the erotic drawings of David Shrigley, Tracy Emin and many more
- Poster Girls, an exhibition of 150 female graphic designers opens at London Transport Museum