Creative Inquiry

Project Spotlights

Hatching Urban Furniture for the Streets of Asheville

Clemson University architecture students are beginning final construction on a unique piece of urban furniture: The HATCHpad, which will find a temporary home on the streets of Asheville, N.C.

The project is part of a Creative Inquiry project directed by Doug Hecker, an associate professor of architecture at Clemson and the co-founder of fieldoffice, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary design studio.

The piece is being assembled with layers of rigid foam into a small outdoor room. The interior space has cave-like contours, which will provide space for ventilation and seating. The HATCHpad also will feature integrated iPads, speakers and projectors, which will display information and pictures about HATCH and the creative arts.

The team is building The HATCHpad in anticipation of HATCH, the project's namesake and a biannual creative arts festival held in Asheville. HATCH promotes the flow of ideas and inspiration between professionals and enthusiasts, specifically those within the architecture, film, music, photography, fashion, journalism and design-technology disciplines.

The festival will take place April 14-17. The HATCHpad will serve as a bus stop and information hub, and because of its uniquely modern design, it also will function as an iconic gathering place for the citizens of Asheville and those attendingHATCH.

The HATCHpad team is comprised of seven students working under Hecker's guidance. The students meet with Hecker twice a week to review their progress and work to complete the project.

"It's really just a constant process of evolution and refinement," said Brittany McGraw, a sophomore member of the HATCHpad team. "We bring in a new model and construction documents at the start of each week, and by the next week we may have something drastically different." "HATCH has opened up many new learning experiences for me," said Rebecca Mercer, a junior HATCHpad team member. "I've learned to think about design from a construction point of view and how to give fabrication more consideration in my ideas."

By: Max Sewesky (Decipher Issue 1, Fall 2012)