Alex Wilton Arole Oluwaseyi Guy Gardner Jason Johnson SSHRC

Limenitis Wall


Date: 2016
Client: Emerald Hills Sports Pavilion
Principal Investigator(s): Jason S. Johnson, Guy Gardner
Project Budget: $32,000
Research Assistants/ Project Team:  Arole Oluwaseyi, Alex Wilton
Funding Agencies: Strathcona County, SSHRC
Status: Built

The Limenitis Wall takes its inspiration from the White Admiral butterfly, Limenitis Arthemitis, a large and highly contrasting black and white species commonly found East of the Rockies. The butterfly has historically functioned as a potent symbol for the metamorphosis of the human soul. We believe this is an apt metaphor for the dynamic and transformational qualities of the Emerald Hills Sports Pavilion in Sherwood Park, a growing community in Strathcona County, Alberta.

The work is composed of hundreds of custom milled, rolled and anodized aluminum components mounted to an exterior wall facing a public plaza. The components, flatcut using a CNC router and formed by hand, are of different sizes and occupy a diagrid with varying levels of subdivision. The components are anodized in black or clear, or are left in a raw state. The colouration and subdivision are driven by a parametric definition which uses multiple layers of image mapping to create a complex visual effect, which is amplified by the curving forms and variety of sizes, colours, and finishes. The combination of these elements plays with the viewer’s pattern recognition system to activate a sense of pareidolia, a response where we project our own meanings or interpretations onto complex formations, which is exemplified by the act of seeing faces in clouds.

The various elements of the work allows it’s appearance to change with different seasons and lighting conditions, and its meaning to shift depending on the viewer’s response. These dynamic forces of transformation combine to activate the façade of the emerald hills sports pavilion and the surrounding public plaza.

Beth Tzedec Brady Horner Jason Johnson Joshua Taron Kristen Forward Matthew Parker SSHRC

Sukkah No. 5: Subject to Change


Date: 2016
Client: Beth Tzedec Congregation
Principal Investigator(s): Joshua M. Taron, Jason S. Johnson
Project Budget: $5,000
Research Assistants/ Project Team: Kristen Forward, Brady Horner, Matthew Parker
Funding Agencies: Beth Tzedec Congregation, SSHRC

This 8’x8’x8’ digitally fabricated object is the fifth in a series of five sukkahs designed and built by the LID for Calgary’s Beth Tzedec Congregation. The three Hebrew characters for “sukkah” are projected onto each set of parallel planes of the sukkah, which, when modeled in three dimensions form a space for social gathering.

The sukkah is designed to sit in any one of three positions thus allowing for different orientations from year to year. Constructed of urethane –coated CNC milled EPS foam chunks bolted together at aluminum plates, the sukkah is light weight and can be easily transported and assembled by a team of 4-6 people. With that same group, assembly or disassembly can be achieved in about 20 minutes without the need for skilled labor. These aspects of the design improve the design’s discoverability and allowed the project to achieve a high degree of precision without the involvement of costly building contractors.

The Laboratory for Integrative Design (LID) embarked on a five year long Sukkah project in collaboration with the Beth Tzedec Congregation in 2012. This video captures our journey through the celebration of the Jewish holiday across these five years and across five LID designed and built community Sukkahs. These Sukkahs experimented with parametric design and rule-based systems exploring scale and material in a tangible way while still communicating a religious framework tied to celebration and gratitude.