This month Barker O’Donoghue was invited by our good friend Sandra Vivanco—Principal at A+D, and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts—to provide technical assistance and collaborative help with a project her students are creating for the annual San Francisco Carnaval parade. We are very excited to be involved in this.

As you’ll see, the structure is quite unusual, and a nice aside for us from the more construction projects we are usually involved in. We called on our good buddy Joe O’Brien who provided the perfect platform on which to erect the structure.

Given the opportunity Barker O’Donoghue will turn our hand at building just about anything. We love a novel challenge, and what the students came up with is awesome! We think it looks like a digital analog of a wave breaking, and with the dancers performing under and around this sculpture it should be quite the spectacle come this Saturday. We will be there – hope to see you. Check it out.

-Crispin Barker



CCa Studio Spring 2012: Body in Spectacle, Professor Sandra Vivanco,

Lead student designers: Chris Baas, Kat VanCleave

Student Team: Emily Alongi, Vincent Nieto, Matthew Puckett, Oscar Ramirez, Hugh Vanho

Technical consultants:  Barker O’Donoghue Master Builders,

FLUIDEZ responds to the challenge of designing a float for the 2012 San Francisco Carnaval Parade. The annual theme, “Crossing Borders, Bridging Cultures”, combined with cultural local celebrations such as the Year of the Water Dragon, provided the departure point for the initial design iterations. Throughout the design development, the team worked closely with a group of high school students as part of a collaboration between California College of the Arts and Out- of-Site, a non-profit organization devoted to teaching art in San Francisco public high schools.

The formal articulation was conceived intuitively through a series of physical and three- dimensional models, and was carefully refined in response to structural considerations and dimensional constraints. The resulting exoskeleton merges a free form with a geometric grid, creating a sense of tension and playful drama, embodying the culture of Carnaval.

The desire for homogenous materiality surfaced early in the design process as a way of evoking a sense of continuity and movement that would support the structure’s dual purpose– a kinetic sculpture moving through the Mission street parade and as an installation piece designed to spatialize a gallery, creating both interior and exterior environments. Through a series of experimental material explorations, birch plywood was selected as the primary material. The final design is a culmination of intuitive design informed by structural considerations and refined by qualities inherent to the chosen materiality and the process of making.

Size:  30ft L x 8ft W x 9ft H (at its highest point)

Material: Baltic birch plywood, steel hardware