The citizen rock
This project proposes another kind of urban artifact, a social object that we have named “the citizen rock”
The aim is to improve the life experience at the public space.
It is a 2m x 2m rounded-like form, that a group of people can push to roll and translate it. By its physical presence in a concrete place, it can configure and qualify the surrounding space. Because of the reflective materiality and organic geometry of its envelope, the object reflects and deform the urban image, changing our perception or the city space. It take its texture, form, colors and brightness from the ambient, and return us a remixed and dissolved visual message from the city.
The surface is a thin metallic skin, that is composed as a curved, convex, irregular an reflective set of stainless steel sheets, safely joined.
The geometry of this envelope is curved but not spherical, like a polished stone, or something that remember a big metallic potato or bean. This form allows an determine a concrete kind of displacement, when pushed.
Along the time, it starts polished and very reflective, but end up scratched, painted, deformed and transformed.
It is built as a light, empty, and closed volume. Inside, a wood skeleton form the structure, and some different balls and some sand moves freely at the bottom, with the aim of balancing the movements, to roll in a slow and safe mode. The ensemble weighs 150 kg maximum.
This urban stone acts as a big public toy, as an sculpture whithout podium, as a vandal furniture, as an informal bulletin board, as a painting canvas, as an urban action instrument… It is an unclassifiable social object; only with a collective effort it can be moved, at least 3 people are required to turn, roll and translate it.
The wood structure will be made with a digital laser cutter on plywood boards, to form de ribs. The goal here is to give resistance to the envelope, without giving additional weith to the ensemble. So, we must build an “empty inside”.
Fixed to the plywood ribs, we will model the base surface with glass fiber and resin, like in the construction of small boats.
Inside, we put about 40 kg of little rounded objects, stones of different sizes, an sand.
The exterior surface, consist of overlapping scales, made on stainless steel sheets of 0.3 mm thick, joined by riveting. The appropriate curvature of each piece will be obtained by a little manual tool working with a generic convex mold in different positions.
A final polishing will be required.
The duration is indeterminate. Until someone pick it up and take it to a landfill or litter to the river.
Its footprint is in the manufacture, use wood or metal and steel, requires no power source once built and produces sound when moving.
The time required is designed once a week.
To replicate need wood, sheet metal, a saw and nails and hammers. It is replicable and scalable.
The citizen rock in the internet
The sole reference that it will be explicit in the object’s surface is the URL of the website “www.thecitizenrock.org“, engraved on the metal.
In this website, you can look to citizen rocks in other cities, and people can see and upload photographies of the current situation of the rock.
There will be an explanation of the general philosophy of the project, and a description of the building process in detail, all the technical documentation and files to download.
For the rocks outfitted with GPS, a map will record the trajectories of the different rooks along the time.