Studio Class at Auburn University
Studio Class at Auburn University

The Dandelion Project

This project was developed by Jocelyne Hilal as a student from Notre Dame University- NDU and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Facilities category.

The Dandelion Project is a student pavilion, an open space, representing the growth of a natural entity, the dandelions. The growth phases are performed through the change in color and the dropping of the white hair/florets off the weed’s white head. Respectively, kinetic architecture was at the core of my project. The mechanism is first generated by means of human energy which develops into the kinetic energy of the petals. In other words, the florets resemble a turnstill, which upon brushing them when entering or leaving the pavilion, are set into motion. Once a floret rotates, it sets the one next to it into motion and so forth resembling much a chain of Domino blocks falling down. As the florets rotate, their color alternate between yellow and white, symbolizing the growing stages of the dandelions. As a matter of fact, the dandelion blooms first as a rich yellow color which gradually withers, and the once yellow florets fade into cotton white hairs. To materialize these varying stages of the dandelion growth and transformation, the rotating sides of the dandelion turnstill are colored white from the inside and yellow from the outside. Apparently, what the students visualize upon visiting the pavilion is this succession of colors brought forth by the movement of the petals. Hence, the asset of color choice is not restricted onto the symbolical level. The colors themselves constitute a psychological asset as well. The yellow color has been employed in various shades in the pavilion, creating an atmosphere of joy and warmth.

The inside of the pavilion takes the shape of the yin and yang. Such a choice springs from the purpose of constructing such a pavilion. Students visit this site to vent off stress and negative emotions. The yin and yang, the symbol of harmony, best suggests this mood. The black color of the twists around the neutral white color of the yang and expands outside the circle of florets, blending in the different colors, concepts and structures into one whole entity, “The Dandelion Project”. The two circular centers of the yang and yin rise and fall respectively. The white yang elevates gradually towards its black center which functions as a sitting area; while the black yin descends gradually towards the white center, functioning as a ground where students can lie and stretch.

Structurally speaking, the spiral shape of the yin yang is encompassed by a spiral contour of florets, representing an informal shape of one whole white dandelion head. Every rotating floret is inspired by the turnstill, a kinetic structure that moves by means of human energy. Hence, the movement of the florets doesn’t consume any form of energy, rendering it echo-friendly.

Dimensions:

  • Total area: 40 m2
  • Total number of wooden bars: 28 bars
  • Height of wooden bars: vary between 0.5 m to 4 m
  • Distance between each bar: 0.9 m
  • Arm of each floret: vary between 0.6 m to 1.2 m