University Marketing partnered with the College of Design this year for “Think Outside the Square: Design That’s Shaping Iowa’s Future.” The 1,800-square-foot Iowa State exhibit will include a 300-square-foot pavilion designed and built by design students, faculty and staff.
The exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily in the Varied Industries Building at the state fair, which runs Aug. 9-19.
IM_RU2 is a redesign of a pavilion created in a 2017 interdisciplinary design-build and digital fabrication studio led by Shelby Doyle, assistant professor of architecture. The pavilion is constructed with low-cost 3D-printed joints, mirrors, wires and LED lights.
The most noticeable difference in this iteration is the lights will be – you guessed it – cardinal and gold. Both pavilions were produced in the architecture department’s Computation and Construction Lab.
It took 800 hours just to 3D-print the pavilion’s 3,200 joints from plant-based plastic, which will be recycled after the fair. That doesn’t include the hours spent building IM_RU2 this summer – including attaching 400 LED lights and 400 mirrors to the 800 joint-wire boxes.
“In our increasingly digital world, people perceive and engage with the environment through a fabricated lens,” Doyle said. “Our perceptions of ourselves and the world are subjective and can include counterfeit realities: convincingly realistic representations of things that never occurred or existed. By exploding and scattering what is seen, the IM_RU2 pavilion shows through architecture and public space that a person is simultaneously confronted with a wide range of individual and collective perceptions.”
The name, IM_RU, is a play on the phrase “I am [blank], are you?”, allowing the viewer to insert any word or phrase in the blank.
“The original IM_RU conveyed an Iowa City fashion festival’s message of inclusivity of all people, shapes and sizes by pixelating your self-image,” said Erin Hunt, Computation and Construction Lab associate. “This redesign focuses on diversity, civility and recognizing that we’re all connected. Seeing ourselves and others in fragments – as you do in IM_RU2 – provides us with different perspectives on our individual identities and our place in society.”
Read more: University exhibit encourages Iowans to ‘think outside the square’ at Iowa State Fair
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