Sensory Journey is a site-specific sculpture and place of engagement located in the fields of the art center, Art Omi. Commissioned as an artistic installation, we seized the opportunity to create an educational opportunity and community-driven place where families can gather. Recognizing that everyone has a personal way of accessing information, this fully accessible, content-driven piece encourages everyone to take time to appreciate nature no matter their ability.
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Global Future Design Awards 2021
Welcome Galleries, National Building Museum
Public Building Interior Built
Wendy Evans Joseph
Wendy Evans Joseph, Monica Coghlan, Jose Luis Vidalon, Shuo Yang, Shriya Sanil, Cassandra Gerardo
National Building Museum, Washington DC
©Yassine El Mansouri
As visitors walk through “Sensory Journey,” they encounter a series of interactive elements and places that foster activities. Whether alone or in groups, participating in a formal program, or wandering the landscape for its beauty, this pavilion allows everyone a greater appreciation of the landscape. The pergola frames views, shelters activities, and screens the sun. But beyond the pragmatic, it is a place that focuses our attention on aspects of our fragile environment that we often take for granted. Of course, the bright colors and whimsical forms create a joyful, playful atmosphere.
The design sets a series of metal elements into a 4×4-inch by 11 foot-high lumber armature. Bright colors vibrate against the black framework. The act of using each of the sensory components elucidates a distinct feeling as we use our senses to help us navigate and learn.
- Orientation: We positioned Sensory Journey in the open field due east/west, so it functions as a compass for orientation. The play of light on the black posts is a vital part of the experience.
- Windchimes: A series of coral colored, six inch-diameter tubes hang from the armature, slowly swaying in the breeze
- Smell stations: Each cluster consists of a group of 3 inch-diameter green tubes that sit above herb plants (rosemary, thyme, etc.)
- View scopes: 8 blue scopes point to places in the adjacent woods, focusing our attention on the leaves, the branches, and the feeling of the treeline.
- Talking tubes: There are two yellow speaking/listening tubes. One runs under the ground, and the other is mounted overhead. Visitors can speak (even the softest whisper will work!)) into one end and be heard by someone 50 feet away. This piece makes us more aware of the visceral quality of communication in a way that our digital media has lost
- Fire: We locate a firepit at the center of the piece in context with a large table and benches. It works for parties and educational programs in the evening for programs under the night sky.
Wood armature: 4″ lumber stained black. The lumber is 10′ high, spaced 16″ on center. Sensory Journey is 125 feet long and 12 feet wide at its widest point.
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