Blue Marble Circus
Design Biennial Boston, 2017
El Hadi Jazairy + Rania Ghosn
Conceptual Design: Aaron Weller, Larisa Ovalles - Fabrication: Justin Lavallee, Christopher Dewart, Cristina Clow, Lex Agnew, Rawan Al-Saffar, Ching Ying Ngan, Marc Smith, Sabrina Madera, Michael Epstein, Paul Short, Jongbang Park, Xin Wen - Structural Engineer: Paul Kassabian, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger - Optics Consultant: Lee Zamir, Tom Gearty - Autodesk BUILD Space: Athena Moore, Taylor Tobin, Adam Allard - MIT Facilities and Support: Jim Harrington, Jennifer O’Brien, Seth Avecilla, Maria Moran
Blue Marble Circus is a 1/10 miniature of the Pantheon that exposes the spherical “architecture of the cosmos” inscribed within. The structure is a 3D construction of an ecorché drawing; it peels plywood ribs off to reveal and stage the Blue Marble. The icon symbol of the environmental movement is represented in a material expression that reckons with the applications of fossil fuels in the construction industry — extruded polystyrene foam, plastics. The 10-foot diameter globe is made of thirty-two white foam polygon panels (twelve pentagons and twenty hexagons), which are machined on a five-axis CNC router for a curved surface and a polygonal cut on the inside. The totality is shrink-wrapped in marine industrial film. The globe is also a camera obscura; the visitor peeks into the hallow chamber, and after a minute or so, when their eyes have adjusted to the darkness, so they recognize the image of the world projected into the interior facets of the globe. The miniature of the Pantheon — both the conceptual diagram and optical experience — is an architectural invitation to re-learn, like Atlas, how to carry the world and all there is above it on our shoulders.