|The Dunnage Ball was an installation for Santa Monica's Glow Festival, a biannual all night cultural experience that re-imagines Santa Monica Beach as a playground for original commissions that invite active audience engagement and exploration.
We designed The Dunnage Ball as an interactive geometric activity generator, to encourage free play and public interaction. The installation was composed of 30 dunnage bags, inexpensive recyclable balloons used in the shipping industry to stabilize loads for transport. The bags, made of woven polypropylene cloth and a polyethylene inner bladder, are puncture-resistant and capable of restraining multi-ton loads.
We modified the bags by sewing webbed loops at either end, allowing them to be lashed together into an icosahedron. The bags were brought to the beach as a kit of parts, in a single car-load, and assembled and inflated with a portable air compressor. At sundown, LED lights were strung inside the bags through the screw-cap. At dawn, the entire assembly was un-inflated and packed-up, ready to be reused.
The Dunnage Ball’s glowing presence on the sand in Santa Monica cast a magnetic attraction over adults and children alike. Climbing inside, the interior space was both energizing as it reacted to the human body and meditative in the purity of its glowing geometry. It was inspiring to observe the public freely explore individual and collective ways to occupy the Dunnage Ball, as they entertained themselves and engaged with each other.