- The Wind Playground
A Kinetic Sculpture that Allows People to Play with and Understand Wind
- WindPlayground is a massive, 57’ x 65’ by 18’ tallkinetic sculpture thatallows people to experience pressure difference, acceleration, and the overallphysicality of the wind. It is abrainchild of both art and science-- both large-scale installation andaero-physical engineering.
Wind Playground not only provides anamazing interactive art experience, but also provides a creative andenvironment to experience and study how wind works. Participants experience what is called the“Venturi Effect”, which means the structure accelerates wind within itself. Thesculpture is essentially a multicolored wind tunnel, built by sailors, and madeentirely out of colorful sail material. The Wind Playground is completelyinteractive and yet has no moving parts – a paramount display of the rules ofnature, specifically wind.
Wind Playground isdesigned to interact with the local wind patterns. Using sail makingtechniques, it funnels wind into a maze of tunnels creating wind-microcosms. Asthe audience walks through the tunnels, the wind becomes stronger, reaching itsmaximum speed toward the end. Here, just as a sailor, windsurfer or kite surferplays with wind by positioning themselves relative to the wind, visitors canalter or cancel the “Venturi Effect” based on where they’re positioned in the sculptureand/or the amount of people participating.
Using complexmathematical formula to measure out every single panel of Wind Playground’sfuturistic design, very thick Dacron and sail-cloth material, Wind Playgroundcan withstand hurricane force winds whilst effectively channeling andaccelerating the wind. In recent tests with the model/prototype- maintaining areading of 0.01 knots at the front of the sculpture, we’ve successfully“created” two 2.0 knots of wind on the far side of the main tunnel!
While blowing into themain tunnel a five 5.0 knot speed of wind, the far side reads 15.
These numbersextrapolated for the scale difference between models would mean a 5.75 mph windentering Wind Playground would be accelerated to 17.3 mph! Even with zero wind,the model will be expelling wind on the other side at approximately 10mph.
I’ve spent half of my life working as a professional sailorand half of my life working as an artist. I think of wind as a living materialto sculpt with. With Wind Playground I wanted to combine the experiences ofboth artist and sailor to recreate the thrill of being out at sea. As atsea - wind howls through the riggings, wind patterns are picked up by “tell tails”, the riggings and ropes squeak under the wind pressurewhile the light reflects off of the bright surface of the sail.
Wind Playground is made of recycled and remnant windsurf andsailing gear. Its frame consists of carbon masts while its skin is made of afoldable lightweight sail material.
Through a grant provided by The Black Rock Arts Foundation,Wind Playground will make its debut at Black Rock City, Burning Man 2012. Thedevelopment of an international tour is currently in the works.