The Making of Screenplay: Part 1

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 1: Introduction.

Several months ago, Michael Sylvester, managing director of Dwell on Design, approached us about designing and constructing an installation for the upcoming Dwell on Design show in June. I was really excited about finally showing a piece at Dwell, but equally as nervous about the challenges, ranging from design to fabrication to material issues—sourcing the building material as well as designing the process of how we will actually build it. Although these concerns are things that we have become quite accustomed to through our previous work, unforeseeable challenges always seem to pop up along the way that force us to be both resourceful and inventive about resolving them.

"reALIze," a tribute to Muhammad Ali, is a temporary installation and consists of 1300 punching bags hung in space to create the face of Muhammad Ali. It was designed and built by Oyler Wu Collaborative and Michael Kalish. Photo by Scott Mayoral.
"reALIze," a tribute to Muhammad Ali, is a temporary installation and consists of 1300 punching bags hung in space to create the face of Muhammad Ali. It was designed and built by Oyler Wu Collaborative and Michael Kalish. Photo by Scott Mayoral. Image courtesy of (C) 2011 Scott Mayoral All Rights Reserved.

Oyler Wu Collaborative is a Los Angeles–based architectural practice that I started with my partner, Dwayne Oyler, in 2004. Eager to test our ideas—and impatient in our desire to see the effects of our work—our office has turned to our own love of building to transform small projects with modest budgets into a testing ground for our ideas. Since 2007 we have designed and built seven installations in Los Angeles and Taipei. Conceptually, our work has most often been focused on evoking a spatial effect through the build-up of material density and through three-dimensional geometric complexity. Often built of aluminum tubing, steel, and, most recently, rope, our work has always operated in a realm that straddles the line between art and architecture.

Here's "reALIze" viewed from the front. Photo by Scott Mayoral.
Here's "reALIze" viewed from the front. Photo by Scott Mayoral. Image courtesy of (C) 2011 Scott Mayoral All Rights Reserved.
Live Wire, a temporary installation at the Sci-Arc Gallery, is a staircase made of 1” aluminum tubing and perforated metal panel.
Live Wire, a temporary installation at the Sci-Arc Gallery, is a staircase made of 1” aluminum tubing and perforated metal panel.
Netscape, Oyler Wu’s most recent installation, is on view at Sci-Arc until the end of April.
Netscape, Oyler Wu’s most recent installation, is on view at Sci-Arc until the end of April. Image courtesy of .
For Dwell on Design, we were interested in designing a piece that creates a sense of aesthetic wonder through its geometry as well as in its making. The piece is also designed to encourage public engagement and interaction. Over the next three months, I hope to give a glimpse of the difficult but rewarding process of designing and constructing our full scale architectural installation entitled "Screenplay."

In next week’s installment, I will get into the design of Screenplay, but here is a preview of the design.

Here's a conceptual design drawing of "Screenplay."
Here's a conceptual design drawing of "Screenplay."
And another conceptual drawing of the installation.
And another conceptual drawing of the installation.
Lastly, as an introduction to the spirit of our office, I want to close with a video of our most recent temporary installation, "Netscape."

Netscape - Sci-Arc Graduation Pavilion from Oyler Wu Collaborative on Vimeo.

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