Sometimes the most interesting structural details are the least expressive. Camber—pre-forming a structural element to counteract its loaded deflection—is everywhere but almost always invisible. Floor plates, truck beds, and skis are all cambered for given loads of varying precision. The installation was an exploration and physical manifestation of the materials and processes behind the manufacture of flatness. Four 40-foot bars were built up from 26 layers of 18-gauge steel sheet and fastened together with solid compression rivets. Starting with a flat control beam, each bar was iteratively formed and refined so that the final version hung completely and discreetly flat. The 350-pound bars stayed put for two weeks after the opening, until an enterprising gallery visitor, impressed by its dainty appearance, attempted to lift the flat bar off its hanger and dropped it on the ground.
Camber was installed in the main exhibit space at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in April, 2004.