Tactile Stage

Climbers’ Cabin | Rattlesnake Point Trails, Ontario

In collaboration with: Di Wang

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Overview

For a mountain climber, a trip to a nearby mountain trail or cliff is a ritual; an event in which the routine is conducted by the performer to rediscover his/her relationship to nature. He/she specifically chooses the mountain cliff to exercise this bodily ritual, which, in doing so, engages the climber in a tactile experience. The climber is given complete control over his actions and decisions as he registers the cavities and the indents of the cliff surface to determine the optimal path from the base to the top.

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This project takes inspiration from the emerging popularity of such outdoor recreation and steps back from the context of urban cities and looks back into nature for self-reflection and revelation.More specifically catering to the rock climbers, it seeks to provide amenity to these climbers near the Rattlesnake Point Trail in the form of a remote cabin as well as a gravity-driven elevator.

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Hence the proposal is a sequence of “pods” that act as elevators in which the mountain climbers can reflect and meditate at the end of the day. Much like counterweights in a stage system, these pods are suspended using tension wires in a three-way pulley system. This system not only enables the entire structure to be suspended on a single beam, but it also provides smooth descent from room to room.

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As a team member, I worked with Grasshopper in Rhino to both design and test the pulley system as well as devising it as an animating tool to simulate the moving components of the pods.

Physical models have been used extensively in the process of designing the system mechanism. From the friction of the pulley to the weight balance of the overall system, we were able to observe and refine the parameters needed to operate the system. As a result, we were able to design and build the fully-operable presentation model with precise execution.

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In conjunction with the physical model, we focused on testing and achieving the interior atmosphere that we felt can stimulate the senses and the memory of the rock climber. To help us visualize the interior experience of the user as the system is set in motion, we configured a grasshopper definition that animated the movement of the individual “fingers” into real-time impressions.

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Softwares: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Rhino 5, V-ray, Grasshopper