Woodland Park 212 Parkview Street Houston, Texas, 77009
ISBN # xxx-xxx-xxx-x Designed by Brandon Robinson
Contents Goal Woodland Park Research Sketching Sounding Stones if i finD Typography if Location Representation
1 3 4 9 10 14 21 22 27 28
Goal To aid The Friends of Woodland Parkâ€™s endeavor to provide enjoyment and education to the visitors of Woodland Park, it is the goal of this project to encourage exploration through an interactive work of typographic expression.
Woodland Park Woodland Park is a public space rich with vegetation located within the urban landscape of Houston, Texas. The park was founded in 1903 by the Houston Electric Company as a means of endorsing its street railway system. Although robust flora has created an atmosphere of wilderness over the years, renovation efforts are being made by the Friends of Woodland Park to return the space to a balance of natural and cultivated land for public use.
Research The first step was to research other public works that incorporated typography and interactive elements. By studying the materiality and development process of other installations, a more informed and accurate design could be produced for the Woodland Park piece. Monolithic structures, bold letterforms, and electronic interfacing all influenced the first design sketches.
Far Left: Listening Stones Gordan Young and Why Not Associates Right: Cursing Stone & Reiver Pavement Gordan Young and Why Not Associates Both the Cursing Stone and the Listening Stones utilize materiality and type to give a sense of solidarity to their respective content while evoking an atmosphere through modified architecture. They act as vehicles of communication which transcend time.
Below: Somewhere-Elsewhere-Anywhere-Everywhere-Nowhere Mark Ruygrok Mark Ruygrokâ€™s piece gives three-dimensional form to the twodimensional concept of type. The employment of type in the third dimension gives the sculpture an interesting engagement with space.
Sound Puddle John English & Alvaro Lopes The Sound Puddleâ€™s ability to emit light based on auditory input intrigues audiences and gives participants a unique experience. By creating a piece that can be influenced, onlookers are persuaded to interact with the work and become engaged with the event.
Sketching With the knowledge that the sculpture would have to marry typographic form with an element of interactivity, a variety of sketches were produced to explore possible solutions. A couple of the more interesting ideas included using projected light to display messages to creating a typographic community garden around weather-center for monitoring park weather conditions.
Sounding Stones The sketch chosen for development was an idea called Sounding Stones. Inspired by adventure games, the project consisted of multiple sound stones and a single hub stone. Sound stones would be typographic displays of onomatopoetic words strategically placed throughout the park, and could be activated by a user via capacitive touch. The hub stone would have relief carvings of all the words from the sound stones and could be used to generate sound from a series of nearby speakers as the sound stones were activated.
if i finD The Sounding Stones eventually evolved into the if i finD. While the idea of encouraging exploration with sound stones and a hub stone remained the same, the typography was further incorporated into the stones’ form. The hub stone became an arrangement of the letters ‘f’, ‘i’, ‘n’, and ‘d’, to reflect the installation’s underlying concept of “If I find…”
The sound stones became the letter ‘i’ with words carved into them. More interactive elements were considered for the hub stone, including a camera as well as a color sensor used to change the color of an RGB light acting as the dot of the ‘i’.
Typography To better reflect the parkâ€™s historical origin, American typefaces used in the early twentieth century were researched with the aspiration of finding a typeface that reflects both the natural beauty of the park as well as the Houston Electric Companyâ€™s early influence.
if Further development yielded the simplification of the phrase “if I find” into “if” to create a more elegant appearance that implied a similar concept of conditional discovery. Taking elements from researched typefaces, a new typographic form was developed.
The interactivity was also simplified. The dot of the ‘i’ became a mounted wheel that could be turned like a radio dial to play sounds found within the park through a speaker mounted in the ‘f’.
Location The if was designed to be both mysterious and captivating. For this effect to be fully realized, the best location for installation would be within a wooded area of the park that remains visible from pathways or rest areas. Fortunately, the Friends of Woodland Parkâ€™s vision plan holds many areas that meet these criteria.
Representation To represent both Woodland Parkâ€™s renovation and the typographic installation, decorative elements based on the ifâ€™s ball terminals are employed as a means of invoking a natural atmosphere of growth and movement. Wooden type from the early twentieth century is also used to give the branding a vintage quality.
Designed by Brandon Robinson All type is set in the Cochin typeface. Printed on 80lb. Matte White Silk Paper
Features work by Gordon Young and Why Not Associates, Mark Ruygrok, and John English and Alvaro Lopes Photo of Woodland Park taken by Shaoshao Chen
Special Thanks to the Freinds of Woodland Park http://www.friendsofwoodlandpark.org/
A book covering the development of a typographic sculpture for Woodland Park.