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The Making of Screenplay: Week 11

Jenny Wu, a partner at Oyler Wu Collaborative, documents the process from design through fabrication of their latest installation, Screenplay, to be featured at the upcoming Dwell on Design 2012. Part 11: Seeing the Light at the End of the Tunnel.

No one in the office has taken a day off since Memorial Day. According to our calculations (based on the average speed of completing a single bay), we optimistically think we can complete the entire installation by the end of this week but, most likely, by early next week. Since the last post, we have nearly doubled our workforce with additional student volunteers, friends, and even family. When we finished the first module and propped it vertically as it will be shown, it was so exhilarating and exciting to see it all come together. We can’t wait to show it at Dwell on Design!

Two completed modules standing vertically. They will be connected side by side at the show.
Two completed modules standing vertically. They will be connected side by side at the show.

My biggest fear now is that we will run out of rope. At this point in time, we have completely cleaned out the remaining stock of ¼” thick silver, polypropylene rope from our supplier. There is approximately 45,000 linear feet (almost 9 miles!) of rope in this installation. We think we will have a few thousand feet left but we really won’t know for sure until we are closer to finish, since we have not yet roped the seating element. I’m crossing my fingers that it will work out although we do have an emergency backup plan if it comes to that.

A few of the amazing staff and volunteers working tirelessly on the installation.
A few of the amazing staff and volunteers working tirelessly on the installation.
My mother showed us how to create the perfect “rope ball” to deal with the messy bundles.
My mother showed us how to create the perfect “rope ball” to deal with the messy bundles.
Speaking of Dwell on Design, I do want to mention another project that we are launching at the show. Since the conception of Screenplay, we have been really inspired by the materiality of the rope and how it becomes spatially intense through the process of weaving. We decided that in conjunction with the launch of Screenplay, we will also launch a line of seating (prototypes, at this moment) inspired by the project. One of the reasons we continue to design installations is that we believe in applying the research and experimentation of our installation work to our other projects, whether it is a large scale building or a piece of furniture. So, please check them out when you are at the show.

One of the four pieces of furniture that will be shown at Dwell on Design.
One of the four pieces of furniture that will be shown at Dwell on Design.
Roping and tightening one of the modules. Photo by Clifford Ho.
Roping and tightening one of the modules. Photo by Clifford Ho.
Next week is the opening, and there is still so much to do before we can install the piece at the L.A. Convention Center. Hopefully everything goes according to plan, and I will be able to give you a preview of the final project in next week’s post before the big launch!

Here's a close-up of one module. Photo by Clifford Ho.
Here's a close-up of one module. Photo by Clifford Ho.
Keeping the spacing of the rope consistent is quite a challenge.
Keeping the spacing of the rope consistent is quite a challenge.

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