The Diversion Design-build project was the second collaboration with the Pickathon Music Festival, an annual event that takes place in August at Pendarvis Farm, Happy Valley, Ore.
A small team of students, guided by two professors, was asked to imagine a new performance venue that would contribute to the festival philosophy of high experiential impact with low environmental impact. Costs were to be kept to a minimum and the site was to be returned unscathed to farmland. The management of the project was structured like a small practice, with client and consultant meetings, planning of project delivery, and close collaboration with the festival site manager in coordinating the tight, preordained installation period. With no tangible budget, material availability drove initial investigations in order to discover an industrial surplus material or waste product from which a design could be inspired. After much research, the idea of the temporary repurposing of a prefabricated, modular entity that could be used as a ‘building block,’ but not used-up, led to the wooden shipping pallet, an abundance of which are manufactured locally and which resonated at a number of levels with emerging project themes.
Design process cycled through ¼-scale study models, digital models, and full-scale mockups of possible details. Quantities of fasteners, earth-anchors, steel-cable, and pallets were meticulously calculated by students for pricing. With 520 pallets, a team of students from freshmen to graduates participated in the hands-on actualization of the project, engaging on-site design modification and tectonic detail refinement, as well as, on completion, full animation of the space by hundreds of festivalgoers embodying the unquantifiable pleasures of collective musical experience. A paramount learning objective for students was to witness how their direct participation in the transformation of humble materials can positively contribute to the human capacity for joy.
You can see a video of the project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a8ICI1ex7E&feature=youtu.be