BUILDING WITH BUMPERS
Updated: Oct 7, 2018
The last few days I have been learning about the characteristics of bumpers and how to assemble them to create a sphere. They all have different hardness’s at different points; for some the curved part at either end is stiff and others soft, some bend easily at the center, others are inflexible. I am amazed at the variety of designs, for something as mundane as a bumper. From Porsche to Toyota, it is all over-designed plastic to me, although the price difference can be in the thousands.
If I am going to attempt to build a sphere out of these strange products of the car industry, I need to find a way to bend and twist them into to a new geometry. I am interested in how their malleability allows them to be reshaped, and how curves can altered to create another form.
I have been experimenting with a heat gun to soften the plastic slightly so as distort and mold it into shapes that fit together. It is really enjoyable to play with these human-scaled shapes; out of context these shiny deformed pieces of armour have ignited my imagination.
Today I decided to move my setup onto the grass, on the frontier between park and alley, to take advantage of the softer ground and prepare for the next step.
I have recruited a friend and fantastic production and technical expert Michel Richard to help build a structure to support the bumpers as I figure out how they will be assembled.
Also my colleague and dear friend Hiva Bakhtiari has joined the team to give some advice on the design and document the process.