animated deflection as point load moves across bridge
2005 - 2006
The mushy bridge is a prototype for a pedestrian bridge which, rather than erasing structural action and reaction in the service of stability and comfort, instead accentuates that action, making the subject acutely aware of the structural deflections and shifts in forces that go into making false ground.
The bridge is an arch form with box shaped planks arrayed in the shape of a catenary. The bottom of the planks are linked by hinges, creating an unstable arch form. Between the tops of the planks a mushy material [rubber, springs, or pneumatic returns, depending on the mush action desired] is inserted, stabilizing the bottom arch while the bridge is evenly loaded. With the addition of a concentrated point load (e.g., a pedestrian), the bridge surface changes shape to accommodate the new pattern. Multiple pedestrians at points along the bridge create new shapes and patterns, thus creating a reactive relationship between subjects via structure.