'Casements' was the second project of my Third Year at University. It was a very fast paced project with a short deadline, designed to prepare us for the pressures of our looming Final Major Project. The brief was to design an art installation within one of Portsmouth's historic Gun Casements on the sea front. The requirements for the project were that you choose one of a selection of museum items and then you create a narrative around it expressed through your installation - I chose a Telephone Exchange. The images I've included in this post are the final posters of my proposal. The project also included a large amount of modelling and a sketchbook full of development work.
I was inspired by the history of the Telephone Exchange and the thought of all of the connections in which it would have made back in WWII, it could potentially have connected the British Prime Minister with the American President of the day. I then came across the work of Jason Rhoades, he works on creating neon light installations which was something I thought was a great way to represent my 'connections' concept and it would bring a lot of attention to the space.
I developed a design with a Telephone Pole which has hundreds of neon wires attached connecting to the Telephone Exchange and then exploding out of the back of it, filling the entire casement and then landing on individual positions on an etched glass map of the world. It would be a very bright space and would really stand out at night.
You can see from the Plan and Sections how the Installation would be positioned and how it would work. The image below shows the technical details behind how the wires would connect minimally to the insides of the casement and how the Telephone Exchange would be protected by a glass box.
The design could be furthered by adding some individual neon names of those who were around at the time of WWII, the colours of the neon wires could also vary.