Design studio Behin Ha has used scrap material from a coated mesh fabric manufacturer to create a temporary installation at a community park in Coshocton, Ohio. Titled Coshocton Ray Trace, the project is intended to engage the community both by involving its members in its construction, and by creating an unexpected point of attraction near the town square. The structure is operated by the Pomerene Center for the Arts as a meeting place for the community over the summer of 2019, at the end of which it is dismantled and sent back to the manufacturer for recycling.
Behin Ha has designed the temporary shade structure at the site of a burnt-down hotel building in artPark as a way of engaging the community in the arts at an otherwise blighted location. Behin Ha’s installation was to work around and with the various interventions that had been made over the years at the artPark. Furthermore, the new installation, intended to provide a meeting place for the community, was to engage the community in its construction and to use local recycled or up-cycled materials.
Behin Ha’s design works with existing structures on the site, tensioning light ribbons of a coated mesh fabric between an existing steel balcony structure and the ground. The fabric is scrap material from Snyder Manufacturing in nearby Dover, Ohio. As wide rolls of the fabric are produced in Snyder’s manufacturing line, the two ends of the roll are trimmed to provide straight edges. The trimmings, which are normally recycled back into the production line, were given new life as a canopy structure in the installation, and are returned to Snyder at the end of the Summer to be recycled back into their manufacturing process.
The assembly procedure was made intentionally straightforward so that the community could be involved in the installation. After some preparatory work by local contractors, assembling the structure was a simple matter of tensioning the ribbons between pre-designated anchor points and stapling them in place. The anchor orientation at the top and bottom create a twist in the ribbons which makes the installation more transparent at eye level and more opaque on top and towards the southern direction.
The bright orange color of the installation invites curious passers-by to come into and explore the park. The installation has also been used for various formal gatherings, including city council meetings and music performances.