EBB (AND FLOW)
Morongo Valley, California
Built for Space Saloon, Fieldworks, 2019
Design - Build
Photographs by Zeno Legner and Martin Hitch
On the one hand, ‘Ebb and Flow’ refers to a formal literalism; the structure literally flows around the desert. However, ‘Ebb and Flow’ also refers to a mindset: the conscious movement and engagement with the world around us. In this sense, the project aims to break down existing barriers between our existing and constructed realities: architecture, nature, and art. Plants are an extension of the ground; architecture is an extension of people; everything is an extension of nature.
The project started with the surveying, sketching, and immediate analysis of data, in real-time, into a site-specific form. Team members measured and recorded various site conditions and then sketched curves and swirls around them. These shapes were then hand-drawn and cut by our team in full scale on location. Next, each of the curved platforms was separated by hundreds of wooden pegs placed at syncopated intervals. This way, during construction, no official drawings or 3D models were looked at and nothing was prefabricated. Instead, all plywood pieces were hand-drawn and cut on-site by our team. In this sense, the form of the structure was not an export of the sketches and models, but rather became a sketch itself—the final form taking on an expressive shape, as if it was drawn on the ground by a giant person doodling in the sand.
The result is a nebulous mirage on the landscape. As visitors move around and about the structure, they are met with a psychedelic vision—the randomized nature of the pegs simultaneously hiding and revealing the landscape behind them—as if the world itself was twinkling in and out of existence.