The 90s called. They want their logo back.
What’s this I hear? Your own CFO explicitly stated that you need to become “cool again”? He’s right about that. The youngest person I know that uses Yahoo is about to turn 40. 40! (Now there’s a good use of your exclamation…
As the ShoeBox moved throughout the University of Oregon campus– from the Lillis Business Complex, to the Student Recreation Center, to the US Olympic Trials 2012 for Track & Field– the leadership of the A Step in the Right Direction group noted that it was becoming an icon for their shoe recycling initiative. To take advantage of this branding, they asked us to design a logo for the group that would capitalize on the iconic nature of the ShoeBox.
We worked our tails off getting the ShoeBox done in time and we finally finshed, revealing it in the Lillis Lobby on Tuesday of Earth Week. The reaction to it has been so exciting!
We barely slept for the last four days of the build, and not at all for the last two, but, unfortunately, that’s how these design projects often end up! It’s worth it in the end!
During the build and process, we managed to take a few photos, and even a video of us putting all the pieces together. (At least until the battery on my phone died, that is.)
I’ve finally had the chance to cull it all and put it together in this video. I could only upload a video 100MB or smaller here, so check it out above, or view a larger version of it at YouTube.
We lucked out big-time today!
As I mentioned in the post last week about using responsible materials, it was important to us to find either used, or FSC-certified wood materials for the ShoeBox.
Today, we went to BRING to poke around to see what we could find. It turns out, that Monaco (producer of coaches and motorhomes) has decided to move its production facilities out-of-state, and a bunch of their leftover materials were landfill-bound. Fortunately, the material was rescued and ended up at BRING instead. We had arrived at BRING with our fingers crossed, aware that we might have to buy something that we would then need to cut down to size, sand, finish etc. But, among the boxes of discarded trim from Monaco, we found the perfect thing: prefinished trim at the exact size we needed. This will save us so much valuable time!
Next, we went to Jerry’s, where, as it turns out, they aren’t kidding you: their customer service kicks the butt of any other hardware store I’ve been to. With their help, we picked up all the hardware we will need: threaded rods with little feet, bolts, rope, fasteners, and the like. Unforunately, all these items had to be purchased new, rather than used, because they didn’t have enough matched items at BRING. There is so much luck involved with reused material sourcing sometimes!
Then, our last lucky find of the day was back at the furniture studio on campus. As we were dropping off our supplies, we perused the Materials Exchange, and managed to find some abandoned MDF pieces that were big enough to use for the top and bottom pieces of the ShoeBox.
We’re all set and excited to get started building! Time to make this happen.
Although the ShoeBox will take up residence in a variety of locations over the course of its life, we designed it to pay homage to its original home: the main lobby of the Lillis Business Complex at the University of Oregon.
The atrium of the Lillis Business Complex can be simplified graphically as a large square, its perimeter formed by twelve columns. Brick patterning in the floor creates a grid of squares within the large main square. Three columns mark each of the corners of the large square, also marking the three exterior corners of the smaller squares formed at each of the corners of the large one.
We have given this same form to the ShoeBox: three steel rods in each corner provide the structure for the box. (Although, we have shifted the proportions to fit within the Golden Ratio.) At each corner of the box, a smaller square is formed, with its three exterior corners marked by each steel rod. These corner squares will hold etched acrylic panels with the diagrams explaining the piece. The ShoeBox will debut as shown in the sketch above, centered within one of the corner squares of the Lillis atruim.
Lastly, the Lillis Business Complex has a massive “Oregon O” on the main windows facing the quad, one of the main historic axes of the campus. We have mirrorred this “O” onto the top of the ShoeBox.
Another design move we’ve decided to make with the ShoeBox is to extrapolate the form of a shoe and manifest this in each façade of the box.
Instead of constructing the entirety of each side only from wood slats, we have removed the upper-middle portion, analogous to the tongue of a shoe. Eye screws are fastened to the left and right sides of the opening, and rope is threaded through them starting at the bottom, with each end joining the other at the top, just like a pair of laced shoes.
The Golden Ratio
Let’s just pretend for a second that we weren’t already just itching for an opportunity to be a little OCD with the Golden Ratio. Ok, perfect.
So, for starters, for a design that is to be a part of events surrounding Earth Week, isn’t it only appropriate that we use the Golden Ratio? Pay a little homage to the crazy awesomeness of nature? Too much? Oh, ok. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Also ok: check out a quick and dirty (aka wiki) summary of the Golden Ratio here.
So, if you went to that link and read about it, you’d know that, nature aside, the Golden Ratio also shows up in mathematics in a variety incarnations and in various fields. So, for a project that represented a collaboration between two typically mutually exclusive university departments (Business and Architecture, and to their own mutual detriment, mind you), it seemed additionally appropriate.
The sketch above shows how we applied the ratio in the case of the ShoeBox.
On the right is the classic illustration of the Golden Ratio, in the form of an infinitely subdividing series of golden rectangles and the spiral that can be traced through them. In a golden rectangle, the ratio of its sides eqauls the golden mean: 1.618.
The upper right diagram labels the sides of the largest rectangle as A and B, and the diagram on the lower right labels the sides of the first inset golden rectangle as C and D. A is to D, as B is to C.
On the left are two diagrams of the façade of the ShoeBox. As you can see, each face of the ShoeBox is a golden rectangle. (The length and height of the face corrolate to B and A, as shown.) Each face also has a section where the wood slats are discontinuous and instead the façade is formed with rope lacing. This internal rectangle is also golden, but is rotated, as shown, marked with C and D, which corrolate to C and D in the diagram on the right.
We plan on converting the above sketch into a diagram that will be etched onto the acrylic on the top of the ShoeBox, along with other information, to help turn the ShoeBox into not just a collection bin, but also an educational display.