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Fluid Motion

Bike Shelters | Projects

  • Our project began with a brainstorm. The entire studio was thinking of things that didn’t happen in a normal city, which we could make into public structures that doubled as bike shelters. Our idea was the fluid motion of waves. We were introduced to a book called Sensitive Chaos, about the motion of waves and air currents, to help with our project. After looking at the images in the book, our first plan was formed. The plan was to do something we called ‘voxelization’ to an image from Sensitive Chaos. What we meant by ‘voxelizing’ was raising up the image in pillars of 3d pixels, called voxels, based on how bright they were. We did this through the medium of Minecraft. We wanted to create a physical model with the voxelized model, but the voxelized model was too detailed for the printer. Not letting this stop us, we shrank the image to half size and tried again. This seemed like it would work out well, so we exported it to the printer. This produced a model which looked cool, but lacked depth. We realized then that depth was the problem with the idea as a whole; white that was high up in the original picture looked the same as white that was lower, and there was no flow. We then scrapped the idea of voxelization, merely using it as inspiration. Our next idea was to use pieces of wood to outline the flow in the image. This worked well, but did not have the crashing and flowing feel we wanted. Our last idea was to trace the park we had chosen as our site, and raise and lower the sketch to get a landscape. We tried this on the Sensitive Chaos image as well, but it did not produce as good results as the site plan.

  •  If you go anywhere around Boston and Cambridge, chances are you will see some part of the Hubway system. The Hubway is the name given to the series of bikes and bike racks that anyone can rent for a few hours. But these bike racks are just scattered everywhere and some parts of the city don’t have a single Hubway Rack whereas others have several. Our idea was to create a nicer way of storing the bikes while also creating a common area that anyone can enjoy along with maybe bringing the Hubway to more communities. While creating “Bike Shelters” might not make the most noticeable difference on the everyday lives of those living throughout the Greater Boston Area, it will make some small differences such as freeing up parking spaces that are currently taken up by the racks. (*in the render there are objects which wouldn't be in the redesigned Lafayette Square such as the columns) It could also create more public spaces and methods of transportation while promoting a healthier life style. We wanted to use the fluid properties of water to create natural and flowing structure with gentle slopes and “waves” that mold and flow into one another. Our “Bike Shelter” was based in Lafayette Square and is composed of two “waves” with the bike racks set in ramps on the outer rim of the park. (**due to scaling issues, in the pictures and renders above the ramps are much smaller than what we had in mind.) The bike racks in the ramps would also be available to use for bike that are not a part of the Hubway. Benches would also be located alongside the racks. This will create an environment where members of the community can gather and relax.