This display board was created by Thomas Strich for the presentation of the public art proposal Launch Pad into the Space of Dreams. The public art proposal centers upon the creative reconstruction of the launch site of the enigmatic rocket scientist Hugo Kinstler Volans. This display board shows Thomas Strich’s plans to recreate the speculative launch site of Hugo Kinstler Volans. This display was presented as part of a proposed public art project for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was one of five finalist designs for the International Symposium for Electronic Arts (ISEA) 2012 Sculpture Design Competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Project elements shown in the drawings were explained in text by Thomas Strich that was printed on the Project Description Board. That text is reprinted here below.
Launch Pad into the Space of Dreams
– The Project
Using Hugo KinstlerVolans’ notebooks as inspiration, I am proposing a public art project based upon a Volans’ design for a rocket launch site. Volans had always hoped to develop a viable launch vehicle and platform. His larger launch site designs were never built, but they display an intriguing mix of functions, reflecting his interest in rocket science and cosmology.
I have chosen to transform his designs into a play structure for children and imaginative adults. It was Volans’ belief that the sensibilities of play, curiosity, imagination, and wonder inherent in children drove the most profound scientific investigations.
– Project Elements
1. Rocket – The design is based upon Volans’ notes. Originally to be liquid –fueled, it has two stages with a payload sphere on top.
2. Payload Sphere – Derived from WWII airplane cockpit canopies, the sphere is transparent to allow instrumentation to take outside readings while the rocket still in flight. In the public art version, the sphere contains a model of one of Volans’s space probes enhanced with colored lights.
3. Hemi-cylindrical Service Tower – The large, attached gear allows the tower to be tilted for loading of rocket onto launch pad
4. Service Steps and Tower Decking – These allow access to the upper stage of rocket.
5. Astronomical Armillary Sphere/Astrolabe – Angled at 35 degrees for Albuquerque, the Service Steps also function as the gnomon of a sundial within the Astrolabe. Viewers on the Service Steps can use the Astrolabe for naked eye astronomical observations.
6. Emergency Escape Ramp – In the playground version presented here, the ramp becomes a large play slide.
7. Launch Base with Exhaust Tubes – In the playground version, these become crawl tubes under the rocket and the launch base will be coated with a rubberized playground safety surface. Misters in the tubes provide the illusion of rocket exhaust.