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The Elastic Plastic Sponge | ColorMute

The Elastic Plastic Sponge

Designed by students at the Southern California institute of Architecture (Sci Arc) in a studio led by Benjamin Ball, Gaston Nogues and Andrew Lyon of Ball-Nogues, the Elastic Plastic Sponge was a test to create a large spanning frame from minimal and moveable material.  The large sponge can be twisted, rolled, arced and curled into various forms to create a lounge, theater or mobius strip.

Used during Coachella in 2009 the piece was fitted with cooling misters during the day and at night each of the 250 “gems” was equipped with a fluorescent light which shifted in relation to eachother as the frame was moved to create a sweeping effect.  This motion like effect is evident from close-up as well as from far across the festival grounds, helping to captivate the huge audience of attendees.

Challenged to find a low cost 3D looping sequence for the festival, Benlloyd Goldstein and Joanne Angeles had been studying the flexibility and spring retention of these individual cell “gems” within the studio and found it a perfect candidate to create a larger piece by stringing them together in a sheet.  When weaved together the gems were rigid enough to hold their shape but had the dexterity to curl and wave across the festival grounds.  The Elastic Plastic Sponge was a hit amongst the concert goers, providing a spangled lounge to relax in or explore.

Photos courtesy of Benlollyd Goldstein

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