Biennial of the Americas
United (Design)July 16, 2010
Similar to our design for the Haiti Poster Project, United, was designed employing a regular tiling, isometric grid. Comprised of 50 individual parts, the 35 nations portrayed within this three-dimensional hemispheric map were designed to be trapped, or held in place by the oceans off of their respective coastlines.
United is 134" wide x 209" long x 23" tall at it's highest points. Each part has been hand-cut from solid-block, unskinned, polyurethane foam. Nations, or landmasses were specified to be 23" tall and oceans and seas, or water features were specified to be 20.5" tall. The intention of the relief was to further highlight the represented nations.
Two different densities of foam were specified. A foam of lesser density was chosen to produce the 35 nations and a foam of higher density was used to produce the oceans or water components. Two different densities were specified to aid in assembly and to help provide structural support to hold the parts together. When in use, or interacted with, United functions as a community-based seating arrangement and subsequently will receive a great deal of load. It was necessary to design an arrangement capable of supporting the weight of many humans while maintaining both its structural and aesthetic integrity.
Upon completion of the cutting, individual solid-block foam parts were then carefully prepared and spray-coated with a satin-finish liquid vinyl. The role of the vinyl coating is to seal the unskinned polyurethane foam and to provide a durable exterior layer. The vinyl color was specified as PANTONE Cool Gray 1 C. A monochromatic color palette was chosen to provide to equal emphasis to all of the 35 nations represented.