Professor Randall Kober
As a result, the space assembled entirely from untreated SPF lumber and twine maximizes volume while limiting material costs, fabrication time and ecological impact. Following its life on the ice, the structure has subsequently been re-assembled in a nearby forest, and has begun the process of deteriorating and decomposing so that’s it’s components can re-enter the natural ecosystem, and fulfill their life cycles. Oculus Prime expresses the result of a unique exploration of design principles. It emphasizes a comprehensive understanding of a space’s significance, potential and impact.
The geodesic dome-like structure placed on the ice after several months of studio work is the embodiment of the team’s goals being reached. Through an understanding of the shape’s structural limits and careful craft, each piece was designed to carry loads safely into the ground without the need of artificial fasteners such as glue or nails.
Oculus Prime evolved naturally from months of an explorative design process which abandoned the team’s preconceived notions of what defined an Ice Station. By removing each individual’s design expectations, the group instead worked together as a single unit to focus on achieving a shared set of goals which guided the process. What began with 10cm by 10cm newspaper models exploring modularity, slowly transitioned through explorations of maximizing efficiency, material lifecycles, forced perspective, organized chaos and structural capabilities, eventually emerging as Oculus Prime.