New York’s hive of workers and their productivity is expressed in this easily demountable and inflatable structure that is reminiscent of a bee.
The inflatable structure is supported on rods that winch the structure to full height so that it can be inhabited for various functions, including:
- Local homeworkers meetings
- Exhibitions of local artist works
- Coffee meetings
- Quietude to view panoramas around the Park
- Philosophical debates
The structure can also be fully inflated, with helium allowing it to ‘fly’ above Socrates Park, much like the inflatable structures seen in St. Patrick’s Day Parades. The support structure shall be made of a tensioned steel alloy, the stairs shall be an off-the-shelf loft ladder, the basket will be made of a hinged, 12 plate, openable encasing (that folds open and closed like a flower). This can all be carried as a trailer on a tow bar. The wires that winch up the structure are high tensile and if budgets allow then an electric winch shall be used. A silent generator and pump shall be incorporated to maintain the pneumatic strength of the volume. The same pump and generator will be used to fill the structure with helium.
Strengthened dinghy rubber inflatable structure
Hinged Plated Basket
Ropes and wires
Electrics, lighting, generator and pump
The invocation of the bee and worker is intended to remind people of special leisure times, spent at peace, in the park and offers opportunities for intimate meetings within the openness of the grassy knolls and lawns. It is proposed that the landscape surrounding any chosen sites be planted with wildflower seeds to establish a slight wilderness feel and hopefully attract some real bees.
The fact that the structure is always tethered to staked ropes will secure the ‘bee’ in strong winds. This structure as a flying and travelling icon will garner affectionate attention and its arrival and departure will offer opportunities for celebratory events of (dis)embarkation and situations for communal enjoyment. The fact the bee is tethered is also a reference to “staying put” in New York and sticking at one’s work – the bee not only works hard but always returns to the hive. As such it is a celebration of New York as the home and hive simultaneously.
Using a shape which echoes that of the much-loved bee not only invokes the buzz of New York, with its worker bees constantly on the go, it also invokes a sense of the shelter of the hive which offers a respite from the 24/7 non-stop nature of the city. It also benefits from the popular affection that there is for bees, and the current threat to their well-being could be dialled up or down depending on the desires of the curators.