A sculptural installation of movable outdoor seating units, designed by Cornell faculty members and made from 3D-printed concrete, will be functional playthings for visitors to Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens from July 12 to Sept. 3.
The “RRRolling Stones” seating system was created by HANNAH, the experimental design practice of assistant professors of architecture Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic. The project is the winning entry in the Architectural League of New York’s Folly/Function 2018 competition.
HANNAH is installing 23 concrete seats at the park.
“The seats will be arranged in small groups which can be adjusted based on the type of artworks or events in the park,” Zivkovic said. “We hope that users will interact with the chairs, exploring individual seating arrangements which suit them.”
To create the seats, the designers programmed a custom 3D printer to produce ribbons of cement (in a mixture reinforced with nylon fibers) in a succession of thin layers.
They have been “painted in various shades of green, a nod to their park destination,” Lok said.
The project will be unveiled at a public opening reception July 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event precedes a free concert in the park with jazz saxophonist Eric Wyatt.
The day before the opening, Lok and Zivkovic will discuss the design and present some “RRRolling Stones” prototype samples by HANNAH at the park, along with live demonstrations of full-scale 3D concrete printing, July 11 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., “to engage the public and explain the potential of the technology,” Zivkovic said.
The designers are bringing Daedalus, the Cornell Robotic Construction Laboratory (RCL)’s massive custom-built 3D printer, to New York for the demo, he said.
The 18-foot-long printer will be featured at the unveiling July 12 for an additional demonstration on site before returning to Ithaca.
Zivkovic directs the RCL, an interdisciplinary research group investigating advanced materials and novel construction technology.
Lok joined the College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) in 2015 and is the college’s B.Arch. coordinator.
Folly/Function is an annual design competition sponsored by Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York, and supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Previous winners of the competition submitted by AAP alumni and faculty include designs by Hou de Sousa (2016) and Austin+Mergold (2014).