Date: 2016
Client: cSpace King Edward
Principal Investigator: Jason S. Johnson
Research Assistants/ Project Team: Guy Gardner,
Matthew Parker, Alex Wilton
Funding Agencies: SSHRC
Status: Proposal

“Columnulous” is a series of vertical monuments resembling cloud formations, acting as a threshold for entry to the public plaza at the south entrance of the building. Each column is formed in precast concrete and is intended to weather in place. Details from the original 1912 architectural drawings of the sandstone building were sampled and projected onto masses using digital software. By referencing instances from the façade which could be seen from the locations where the columns were placed, the goal was to subconsciously and indirectly draw the viewers’ attention to the patterns contained within the building elevation.

The projected lines were used as restraints as the masses were inflated using a physics engine. The process of inflation could be seen as a way of obscuring or “clouding” these details, so that the viewer could feel free to overlay their own interpretations of the form, in the same way that we project images onto clouds. Several iterations were developed to explore the extent to which the geometries and patterns should be obscured in order to allow for a range of associations.

The experience of interacting with these intentionally ambiguous forms encourages a similar procedure of projecting meaning onto the work. The objects can be read a number of ways at the same time. They resemble both soft, fluid forms, and rigid concrete monoliths. They operate in series and as single sculptural instances. The inscribed patterns reference the adjacent building, but are obscured.