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8/5/2018 » 8/8/2018
ASES 2018 Solar Conference

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'Summer Is...'
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Interactive Installation for the Denver Art Museum:


Last spring Blue Spruce Design and Construction was approached by Workshop8{W8) about submitting an application for an interactive art installation project  for the Denver Art Museum(DAM) which would  be displayed in their  plaza for the summer. Blue Spruce and Workshop8 met several times to discuss ideas that would  meet the criteria  for the museum. Eventually  Emily Axeman, with Workshop8 came up with the idea for an urban campfire  and thus the concept for 'Summer Is.....' was born. Workshop8 submitted the concept to DAM and this was chosen over the 30 plus other entries.


The concept  was to build four  'campfires' where  people could congregate  to tell stories and reflect  on what summer means to them. These four Urban Campfires were placed in the large plaza in front of the museum  for the summer. Blue Spruce built  four platforms, each with  8 stools made of donated  beetle kill wood, which was salvaged from trees killed off by the pine beetle. Emily Axeman collected  denuded  branches from  last September's devastating flood to use for the centerpiece 'fire'. W8 got expired climbing ropes donated  by local climbing gyms for the 'sunrays' that went from  the base of the platforms to the light poles in the plaza. There were recycled paper tags for people  to write their thoughts/experiences which they then tied onto the 'sunrays'.


Blue Spruce and Workshop8 wanted  this project-aside from  being a fun, interactive, thought provoking experience-to be as Green as possible. That goal was achieved as primarily recycled, repurposed materials  were used for the construction. It was also important that, at the end of summer, these materials didn't end up in the landfill. Fortunately and happily, these four  'Urban Campfires' now have new homes at 3 local preschools  and local church. This was an incredibly successful project  in terms of meeting all the intended goals-building a Green, interactive, well received art installation that continues  its life cycle by being enjoyed  in their  new locations.


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