The socio-economic reality of Michigan in the previous decades has frequently manifested in crisis re-volving around water. While the media coverage of these emergencies makes them apparent to us all, the discrete hazardous conditions which impact certain people’s daily lives are all but ubiquitous. More often than not, communities that are already economically distressed are getting the short end of the stick. Conditions that plague the so-called “third world” are being experienced right here in Michigan.
Recently, the water crisis in Flint, MI has led us as a state to face the challenges associated with disparities in water quality and access. Corrosive water from the Flint River was pumped through the city’s water lines causing lead and other toxins to be swept into the drinking supply. Residents were/are being required to filter their drinking water extensively and many were relegated to using bottled or pre-packaged emergency rations for a source of potable water.
The POP-X pavilion is made up of two contrasting walls, or, one wall communicating two different situations. The first wall plays host to an aggregate of water balloons. As an icon of summertime fun and momentarily expendable resources the water balloons are a jovial depiction of fortunate stability and care-free living. In contrast to the balloon display, another wall, comprised of almost identical quantities and materials hosts an aggregate of emergency water rations. These bags of water are life sustaining, and are how many in the world, and some in our own state have to relate to water in their day-to-day lives.
As an installation, the colorful wall injects shade, visual screening, and a playful collection of objects into Liberty Plaza. A back-drop to the public activities of the plaza, the juxtaposition of vessels will offer up a moment of reflection, contemplation, and the possible spark of discourse amongst guests. The aggregate quality of materials will also allow for possible surprising transformations throughout the week. Will some objects disappear to quench someone’s thirst, or possibly for a spontaneous balloon fight in a public space?
Synecdoche (pronounced si-nek-duh-kee) is imagined as a design/make architecture studio exploring material constructions, their narratives, and the resulting environments they create. As a small practice we work in a fast and nimble environment as an effective production technique. Architecture creates opportunities to work in multiple scales within the same discipline. Our belief is that tangibles and experience are simultaneous design problems.