Students in the Fall 2019 semester engineering/visual arts course “Extraordinary Processes,” VIS418/CEE418, co-taught by Professor Joe Scanlan, Visual Arts, and Professor Sigrid Adriaenssens, Civil and Environmental Engineering, exhibit beds they designed and built that are equally inspired by their personal creativity and structural principles culled from engineering lab work.
The class consisted of a series of material investigations in relation to the human body at rest. Each student designed, built, and critically analyzed a custom bed frame that exploits the inherent properties of a singular material—ash wood—across a spectrum of rigid and flexible structures. Laboratory testing and creative work were augmented by lectures on the cultural history of “the bed” as a site of function, fantasy, aesthetics, and politics, from Egypt and the Bauhaus to John Lennon and Yoko Ono. One larger goal (among many) in the class was to compare methods of evaluation in visual art, engineering, social policy, and the occult.
Beds are on display until Feb. 7 in the CoLab at Lewis Center for the Arts. Stop by and ask yourself, “Could I sleep on that?”