CFA – Considering the Quake

We helped the Center for Architecture showcase how design for earthquakes can not only be a pragmatic precaution but also an opportunity for innovation. Considering The Quake: Seismic Design on Edge was an exhibition first held in Toronto. We designed the exhibition for when it was hosted by the American Institute of Architects at the CFA in New York.

Along with the overall exhibition designed we also produced an interactive installation in collaboration with ARUP. This installation was a center piece of the exhibition and acted as a way for the audience to not only physically engage with the content, but also as an educational element that visitors were able to learn from. The installation visualized the effects of an earthquake and some of the considerations that are taken into account while designing buildings in seismic regions. A foam layer represented depth change in a soft material similar to soil. This layer not only has its own period put also effects the overall length of each pipe. Each pipe had a weight that has been calibrated at various heights in a graph throughout the grid. These weights alter the natural period of the pipes so that there is a variation between different pipes.

Visitors were invited to create and adjust their own seismic wave, tuning the installation to see various zones of resonance within the grid of pipes. As visitors adjusted the wave these zones would move or dissipate as you find periods coincident with the various pipes. As with a building, each pipe resonated at more than one frequency.

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