Final Flight of Elevate Tickets

April 29th, 2012 : : : :

food CARt : food in motion, reinventing the street food experience, by Localmotive, Contrivium and Exis

We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has purchased a ticket for Elevate on June 3.  This undertaking has been like none other, an epic logistical challenge of a location on a bridge and involving so many diverse collaborators. It has also been a process full of surprises, one of the greatest being how fast tickets have sold. The release of tickets in flights has served a couple purposes. First, to create more opportunities for people to hear about them and have multiple opportunities to acquire them.  The 10% increase in price between flights allows us to cover our costs of this undertaking, which actually extends far beyond just the afternoon of June 3. 100% of the ticket sales makes the design and construction of these structures possible, in addition to the food they will serve on June 3.  After June 3, as determined by each team, their structures will go on to inhabit other parts of the city. We hope the structures find strategic permanent homes, or discover such a positive impact on neighborhoods and places in between, that they might spur new kinds of innovative businesses, site specific events, and become a part of civic life here in Omaha.

We are going to release a final flight of tickets for sale this week at $150 each, in small batches of 10 each day at noon, right here on our blog. We hope this extended schedule makes it possible for everyone out there really hoping to attend (and make possible) this one-of-a-kind experience.  Only 34 days left until Elevate!

Elevation Station Preview: Nancy Drew Shew

April 27th, 2012 : : : :


A team we at Emerging Terrain like to affectionately call ‘Nancy Drew Shew’ is a triumvirate of Interior Designer Nancy Novak, Engineer Drew Johnson, and La Buvette Extraordinaire Tim Shew. This team has, in an impressive way, collaboratively conceived a sculptural station derived from a juxtaposition of Tim’s culinary refinement and his love of foraging ‘wasted native species’ all weekend from a canoe. The form and function of their station has evolved from Tim’s original idea of tying two canoes together, dressing up in a fish costume, and hosting a fish fry on the bridge.

Enter Nancy’s modernist sensibility and Drew’s non-traditional art/engineering prowess; this team embodies the interdisciplinary collaboration we dreamed of Elevate striking.

The result is a form at once both arachnid and aquatic – not quite fully land, not quite fully fish – the materials have been collected from various past transportation modes and re-imagined into a sculptural reflection of the chef’s idea of a perfect ‘foraged’ meal:

Salted fish fritter with chive aioli

Watercress, asparagus and pickled buffalo fish salad

Yellow mustard vinaigrette

A 16’ high ‘fish tail’ constructed of railroad ties, rope, and recycled car fabric will shade visitors.  Over 6,000 pounds of salvaged Union Pacific railtracks form sea creature-like-legs, supporting the structure and encircling diners. At the last meeting with this team, they requested a helicopter to lift their sea-creature station onto the bridge. We’ll see.


Trug Life, Part 1

April 26th, 2012 : : : : Trug corrugated metal

With the official Trug: Leavenworth kickoff scheduled for May 24th (mark it on your calendars!), I am in the middle of making sure the Trug platforms and seating/planter modules are constructed in time for the launch. Yesterday afternoon I dropped off the final set of corrugated metal to be painted at Helm Auto Body. Since I’m currently waking-eating-sleeping Trug design and fabrication, I’m going to use this opportunity to tell you about the design process of the corrugated metal seating/planter modules.

Last summer, soon after the Greater Omaha Chamber suggested that we collaborate on a project to enliven a section of Leavenworth Street (more on that another time), Anne and I looked at ubiquitous industrial materials that would allow us to design and deploy something in a short amount of time.

We became interested in corrugated metal pipe (aka culvert pipe) as a versatile, common, and durable material that comes in a wide range of sizes. Early ideas used pipe sections as planters that did not require much material manipulation, relying on sheer number for impact. We drew inspiration from the Walklet, Parking Day, Parallel Park, and other temporary urban installations. The design evolved as we proposed cutting and reconfiguring pieces of the pipe to make not only planters, but seating as well.

Trug early designs

The real breakthrough came when we finally visited Contech in Wahoo and learned that annular pipe (there is also a helical variety) is still made in the way it’s been done for a century: by individually hand-feeding sheets of corrugated metal into a roller.

Contech rolling Trugs

We saw the possibility for partially rolled sheets, and the guys at Contech were happy to try it out. After many more design iterations (with plenty of ugly ones along the way), we arrived at the looping, peeling, ribbonlike forms of the Trug seater/planter modules—shapes that come from the material and fabrication method.

Corrugated metal-in-progress

Because the shapes are so closely linked with the tooling, the fabrication drawings can be very simple. And since each piece is rolled by hand on demand, it allows for the design to be approached “parametrically”—i.e., as a system based on rules and variable parameters. In this case, we have a system made up of straight and curved sections of corrugated metal, but the lengths and diameters can change to make various types of seating and planter modules.

Trug corrugated metal fab drawings

Elevation Station Preview: Portable Prairie

April 25th, 2012 : : : :

Elevation station Portable Prairie takes cue from team members Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette’s film Growing Cities – a documentary that examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat. Similar to Elevate, the film asks people to re-imagine what’s possible in urban settings. Check out their Kickstarter campaign to learn more and find out how you can help support.

The filmmakers are joined by Designers Paul Nelson, Thomas Miller and Jeff Davis; Chefs Brian O’Malley, Oystein Solberg and Jen Valandra; and Organic Horticulturist Addie Kinghorn to bring this local organic meal to the 36th Street bridge.

Celebrating the Transport(ation) theme of the Stored Potential 2 banners, Portable Prairie delivers an unanticipated landscape to the urban location of the event by means of a trailer overgrowing with natural heritage Nebraska plantings. The prairie on wheels becomes the back drop to a portable locally sourced meal: heritage turkey sausage on a fresh-baked bun, topped with charred kale aioli, pickled garlic scapes and radishes, and carmelized onions.

The station includes a video presentation by the Growing Cities filmmakers documenting the entire process of the meal from farm to table, including the diners. After the event, all components of the Portable Prairie will be recycled: the trailer will return to its original purpose in life (hauling useless junk banished from your home), the video equipment will continue its life in the production of a documentary film, and the planters will be distributed to team members and friends.


Elevation Station Preview: POLYNOMIAL and J. Coco

April 23rd, 2012 : : : :

1,200 seeds sown, 400 planters crafted, 275 (and counting) edible plants distributed, and one meal on a giant bridge to tie it all together.  If you happened to stumble upon the ‘Veggie Trails’ table at Earth Day this past Saturday, you will have a clear visual image of what all this means – for it was this table that kicked off a string of events that will lead one Elevation Station team up to the June 3rd dinner on the 36th Street Bridge.

The collective of young creatives, calling themselves Polynomial and quickly growing from 2 founders to dozens of collaborators, have approached their station design from a unique perspective. In an effort to align with the two banner topics (food and transportation), the team devised a process of getting as many Omahans involved as possible via active transportation.

The resulting plan was set into action on Earth Day (and will continue at HeyDay on May Day on Harney Street) where 400 total edible plants will be dispersed into homes throughout the city to be cared for and then biked, ran, walked, or bused to the 36th Street Bridge in time for the June 3 event. The plants will end up composing their physical station where J. Coco will construct her signature salad from them.

It is this engaged process that makes Polynomial’s approach to the concept and challenge posed to the Elevate teams unique; they are letting the process dictate the design, in a most ‘local’ way.

Top Photo Courtesy of B. Visual Photography