In this studio subject, students began by creating a venue for a specific event, either in or around the existing Powerhouse Museum. First, they identified the fundamental infrastructure required to support the most diminutive form of event. From these core spatial, programmatic and structural fundamentals, students then increased their venue capacity three times over the semester, each time by a factor of 10. These increases resulted in new challenges of location and site, increasingly complex programmatic concerns, and changes to the infrastructure needed to support these demands.
Throughout this process, students tested and evaluated strategies by which scale may be achieved, whether through simply creating a larger venue, by borrowing from shared public space, or by setting the ground rules that allow duplication at a similar scale to form a series of venues.
One of the projects that emerged from this studio was the Story Wall, a modular system with the ability to both programmatically and spatially define its immediate context and that boasts multiple agendas. This lightweight metal-framed system can easily be moved and manipulated, responding to themes explored in the Powerhouse Museum’s collection. Expanding polystyrene inserts pop in and out as required, and piano hinges alternate across the frame, allowing the Story Wall to expand and contract to fit a wide range of spaces. Piggybacking off the Powerhouse’s current Marvel exhibit, the addition of the Story Wall scales up characteristics of the comic to create a habitable, writable and movable wall. Story Wall challenges an often stagnant, one-sided mode of exchange, and feeds off public engagement and interaction.