Scaffolding is typically a temporary element in service to a more permanent structure. What if scaffolding itself was the primary structure that, instead of supporting the construction of permanent artifacts, incited temporal occupation? How can residents take control of structures and re-appropriate them to play on-top of, within, and inside? Our proposal uses a lattice-like structure of scaffolding to foreground, frame, and bring together the city’s inhabitants.
‘Scaffoldia’ organizes a wood lattice into two primary shapes—a stepped pyramid on the ‘outside’ and carved out dome on the ‘interior’—to create a structure that is both iconic and consolidates a collective. Inspired by the structural simplicity of the gantry cranes that line Oakland’s port, our proposed installation humanizes these structural forms to link them to the human body and Oakland’s residents. Stepped at one-foot intervals, these shapes allow for different forms of engagement with the human body—sitting, repose, climbing, hanging, hiding, leaning, or jumping— on the interior and exterior of the structure. The structure itself is constructed with 2×2 dimensional lumber over a series of three days. Each day, as the structure grows, it invites new forms of civic engagement. Infill foam components that slot into the structure allow for seating, shading, concealment, etc. and are determined by the city’s residents.
We see this structure as the impetus to engage different heights of human body as well as the city’s residents. Play for us is about curiosity. How do I use it? Where can I go? What can I do with it? These simple questions have been the root of most successful games that purposely leave an openness for the community to engage differentially. What is proposed is a ‘soft icon’, the object being the background to frame the public life of Oakland’s residents.