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Meet the Winners of the Boston Center for the Arts Occupy 539 Competition


Here is quick Q&A session with Andrew Adamopoulos one of  members of the winning entry to the BCA’s Occupy 539 Competition. Mathew Cleary, Tim Servo, Jahim Baskerville were also members of this winning group.

1) How did you get this commission? Was it through a competition?

Mathew Cleary had been trying to do collaboration with me for a while. He wanted to get into some more structural work. I had been working very hard at school and designing a house in Canada with Tim Severo, so we had very little time. Mathew  found out about the Boston Center for the Arts occupy 539 competition and Tim and I threw together the proposal in a few days with help from Jahim Baskerville, who is a very talented graphic designer.

2. What is the name of the piece?

I wish I knew the name.  We were so busy getting it done we didn’t get a chance to do anything but solve problems as they arose.


3. What was it that influenced the design of this piece?

As designers, Tim and I are very focused on creating designs that work in their surroundings and are for the people that are using them. We wanted the structure to display Matthew’s work in a dynamic, but subservient manner. We thought that a cable system would be the best way to do this. The design was intended to be light, which we felt could guide people through the space, making the paintings the focus once inside. A lot of inspiration came from just solving problems, whether they were structural, problems with transporting, fitting the structure into the space, and what materials we could afford.

4. Could you briefly define the materials and assembly?

The materials we used are dimensional lumber, plastic, plywood, glue, aluminum and steel cable. The structure is a tensile structure composed of 5 arches, two sets of arches hang on either side of a center vertical arch in equilibrium. Each arch has footings that allow them to hang in their slanted position by themselves, but the cables make it rigid and homogenous.

5) Have you worked on similar projects in the past?

Many. In high school, I designed gardens and got several commissions for work after that. One of which was for Sanders family, who the New York Times just did an article on (In the Catskills, Building Stone by Stone, Bale by Bale) Clark Sanders. He was a big inspiration of mine. I have been a timber framer, stone mason, print maker, stone sculptor, kinetic sculptor, all at different times in my life. I always have a project going on, designing, or building something. If I don’t I start getting pretty itchy.


6) What was your favorite part of the design process?

I love designing and building. I am constantly trying to develop my process.  There is no one part or aspect I like more than another. That being said, there are moments, when you’re either designing or working by hand, when the world goes silent, you’re breathing is in perfect rhythm, and then you’re thoughts go silent.  Those are the moments that I chase.


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