Nests | 2007

polyethylene tubing, nylon cable ties, fabric, shredded paper / dimensions variable

A collaboration of Yuji Hsiao and Doug Johnston

The Nests are an invitation for people to find comfort together; spaces of relaxation, contemplation, and conversation that are simultaneously public and private.
The Nests are constructed of polyethylene tubing, loosely woven and connected to itself. It provides an open yet clearly defined space, which is formed in response to its site. The materials used are commonly available and the method of construction is relatively simple, yet results in a complex self-supporting surface. The construction method allows shell spaces to be built in many forms and sizes, and in a short time. The material is suitable for interior or exterior applications and is reusable or recyclable.

nests: art of space | 2011

A collaboration with Professor Gerard F. Nadeau, AIA, and his student group Art of Space at Drury University.

Drury University's Professor Gerard Nadeau has created a unique ongoing program of public art event-installations that aim to engage the public in the creation of space and the revitalization of Springfield, Missouri's downtown districts. Gerard invited me to participate in the second event-installation with a public nest-building workshop that would conceptually and physically connect the Historic Commercial Street district of Springfield with the popular monthly ArtWalk events in the nearby downtown area. We utilized the Nests construction method created by Yu-Chih Hsiao and I, in which polyethylene tubing is woven into pavilions, held together by plastic cable ties (see more info here).

Working with wonderful art and architecture students from the University and other volunteers from the Springfield community, we created a large nest structure inside a student gallery on Commercial street. Outside the gallery a second smaller nest was constructed and paraded 1.5 miles down Boonville Ave, which connects Commercial Street with the Central Square of downtown. Approximately 50 people participated in the parade, carrying the stuffed fabric tubes that became the nest's floor, and stopping at each traffic light to listen to the reading of a nest/space themed poem. When the nest arrived at the Central Square hundreds of people were gathered for the ArtWalk event and the nest was offered to them as an open, portable room within the public plaza. Later the nest was returned to Drury University where it resides on the lawn of the Hammons School of Architecture.

The Art of Space group went on to create another temporary nest, the largest and most ambitious to date, around an enormous oak tree on the campus.

Local video journalist Ed Fillmer created a video about the Art of Space Nests, which can be viewed in the gallery, or on youtube.