17.8.2018

Ice Cube

ICE CUBE is a temporary installation designed and built for the 2016 Seattle Design Festival, a weekend-long event exploring how design improves the quality of our lives and our urban center.

Inspired by the festival’s theme, Design Change, ICE CUBE showcased the stages of the natural water cycle as the ice shifted from opaque to translucent. As the 10-ton ice cube evaporated and melted over 10 days, the installation offered a cool respite to visitors and scattered ambient sunlight and colors throughout the

park. The pure form of the cube gradually eroded in the summer sun, marking the passage of time as its water slowly returned to the nearby Puget Sound.

Measuring nearly seven-feet on all sides, the cube was made from 64 smaller ice blocks, each individually frozen, hand selected and rotated for best fit. The cube was lit from above by a suspended LED light, giving ICE CUBE an ethereal persona at night, as it appeared to glow from within. Throughout the design festival, the public was invited to interact freely with ICE CUBE. Visitors’ excitement and intrigue was evident as adults, children and pets engaged with ICE CUBE using multiple senses: taking in the sight of the imposing form, the touch and smell of the cold and wet ice, and for a few brave passersby – even the taste.

The installation inspired surprising conversations not only with the design community, but also with

surrounding schools, the media, and atmospheric scientist and local weather celebrity Cliff Mass who invited people to guess how long ICE CUBE would last. The process for ICE CUBE was a departure from the typical design process, which tends to focus on the longevity of a structure. Instead, the concept and desired result was a subtractive process, catalyzed by natural elements and human engagement that slowly broke down the form. Ultimately, ICE CUBE was completed by its slow degradation, becoming more sculptural over time until its eventual evaporation.

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