Emily Mohr, Jonathan Rieke, Jeff Leopold
Srf+Turf is a proposal for flexible outdoor seating in a park setting developed for the 2017 Folly/Function Program at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York. The seats are conceptualized as part of the ground that has been lifted-up and twisted over itself to form a place of respite for the park-goers. The seats are fabricated out of thin stainless-steel sheets, polished to a mirror finish on one side, which are covered with a plush layer of AstroTurf on the unfinished side. As such the seats both appear to blend with the grass texture of Socrates Sculpture Park and standout from the context, by reflecting the sun and sky at the ground level. The Srf&Turf sheets are bent out of plane to form the seating. They are rolled according to the principles of developable surfaces and, as such, can be easily unrolled for convenient mobility, stacking and storage.
The fabrication of the seating will involve the cutting of 10’x18” and 12’x18” segments of stainless steel sheets. Correspondingly dimensioned AstroTurf will be clipped to the unpolished side of these sheets to create the base unit of each seat. To take its final form, each seat can be easily curved into position by two people – one holding each end of the sheet - and pinned into place with simple steel Clevis Pins. This is essentially the entire construction process. Each seat is surprisingly lightweight, despite being made from extremely durable materials. The 10’ sheet weighs 30 pounds and the 12’ sheet weighs 36 pounds, allowing for the easy relocation and adaptation of each seat by one or two people. By adding this additional seating to the Park, Socrates will not only have access to a comfortable, functional and useful series of seats for the coming years, but they will also have an aggregation of squiggles, curves and curls that will playfully occupy the waterfront landscape: a confetti of seating that is very much in sprit of the dual commitments to utility and delight that Folly/Function program at Scorates Sculpture Park maintains.