Personal Project

Can I get Haverford College to fund a non-art personal project that I'd like to do (building a 15-foot geodesic dome)? Turns out, the answer is YES! But how "artsy" did I have to make it for it to get funding?

Personal Project aims to examine (and TEST) the inner workings of the Social Organism that is the college: the interlinked network of departments and groups that acts as a decision-maker on its own, uncontrollable by any one individual.

What does this Organism consider art? What does it consider valuable? This experiment provides a little data, and I get my geodesic dome's materials paid for.

Materials: Steel conduit; bolts, nuts, washers

The dome is a 3V 5/8 geodesic dome with a theoretical strut length of 4.92 feet on the longest strut. The full dome was 15 feet high and nearly 24 feet across at its widest point. It consisted of 165 steel struts and 61 sets of a nut, bolt and washer.

The project's budget was $412.62 and it was fully funded by the Haverford College Student Arts Fund (part of the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities). The dome's construction was also sponsored by and hosted in the VCAM Maker Arts Space, and approved by Facilities Management. The construction and deconstruction teams included the College Architect and Maker Arts Space Technician.

The dome was assembled on a Sunday morning in four hours, with a team of eight volunteers. Three days later, the dome was disassembled and packed into the trunk of my car. Deconstruction took two hours with a team of three. Before this, around 100 hours of preparation went into constructing the 165 struts using jigs to ensure they were consistent.

Project proposal submitted to the Student Arts Fund