Springboard Design

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Piers was art installation created by Bruce Lindsey and Paul Rosenblatt Associates with Michael Pestel for Pittsburgh’s 1991 “On the Waterfront” project.  It proposes a strategy for the adaptive reuse of existing abandoned bridge piers and was awarded an Open Plan Award by the AIA Pittsburgh Chapter and exhibited at the Heinz Architectural Center. The models and drawings of this project are now in the Heinz’ permanent collection.


 

An excerpt from the article, “Designer finds the art in architecture” by Pat Lowry, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

…Organized by Mesaros Galleries curator Robert Bridges, the exhibit explores the symbiotic relationship between architecture and art and is divided into two parts: mirror-image galleries flanking the entrance to the Creative Arts Center. The architecture side showcases five Springboard projects, including Butler’s Maridon Museum, Doane Hall of Art at Allegheny College, a Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show pavilion for Duquesne Light, the Waterplay exhibit at the Children’s Museum and the recently completed Make Your Mark coffee shop/art studio in Point Breeze. The work is minimally and straightforwardly displayed, with each project represented by a horizontal row of snapshot photographs and a plan. The plans are also interpreted as figure/ground elements in refined, columnar sculptures made from layers of resin.

Things get considerably more right-brain and messier on the art side, where Rosenblatt shows a riot of assemblages, paintings and a mobile he made mostly from scavenged, discarded, domestic objects and an architect’s palette of industrial building materials: derelict chairs, cardboard barrel bottoms, broken radios, pieces of wood, corrugated metal siding, 1950s paint-by-number paintings and empty frames.

As in Springboard’s architectural projects, a contemporary, interactive aspect coexists with historical references: images from a visitor-guided computer are projected onto the back of an old cupboard, a new, wavy back that recalls the organic curves of the Waterplay exhibit and the business sign at Make Your Mark. Produced in the evenings, after his and Fallaux’s two children are in bed and Springboard’s clients have been tended to, these works, for all their allusions to electronic media, have the low-tech, tactile appeal of Russian constructivist sculpture of the early 20th century. It almost doesn’t matter what the outcome is; as in process art, it seems to be the making that matters, as act of affirmation…

for the complete article, click here.


 

In addition to new galleries for interactive exhibits,The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh wanted to display its extensive permanent art collection in new and existing public spaces. Springboard was commissioned to find a way to bring “visual clarity” to the museum’s public spaces, and to find interesting and effective ways of displaying the museum’s art collection. Our design concept developed naturally from an understanding of the museum – its culture, eclectic personality and “kid” focus – and from the museum’s spaces, both new and existing.

The permanent art collection includes several different types of artwork: contemporary prints and drawings, silkscreen prints by Andy Warhol, puppets, industrial artifacts, and stained glass. To begin the project, we conducted a workshop to better understand the museum’s goals. Four major directives emerged: use the collection to help organize the public spaces; reflect the eclectic personality of the institution; complement the building’s architecture and variety; and don’t let the art get lost!

Children love machines. To display artwork, Springboard created a system of Art Machines to engage the art, the visitors and the building. The “Art Machines” create signposts through the facility, thus giving a sense of order to the otherwise eclectic spaces. Although each Art Machine is quite different in form – each form relating to a different function or activity – they can share a common color and so form a loose, but recognizable system.