Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lovin' The Walker

So I don't know how much I've told you about the arts here in the Twin Cities. For instance, did you know that famous sculpture of the big spoon and cherry is here? Yeah. I had forgotten, too. And the museum where it's located, the Walker Art Center, is pretty freaking amazing.

One of my favorite things about the Walker is that there is a huge outdoor sculpture garden (where the spoon is), which is always open, and always free. There are all kinds of sculptures there, abstract, surreal, realistic, and some that maybe don't really make sense. But that's art. One is really pretty amazing. It's an arrangement of bushes and mirrors that created a very weird effect to where you aren't quite sure where you actually are in the space. The one shown below drew me to it because of the amazing detail in the fabric and position of the jacket, and the interesting composition of the three pieces. There is also a lovely little garden. A perfect place for a nice little picnic, or just to take a walk and get inspired.

For more photographs of the Walker Sculpture Garden, visit my Flickr photostream.

Something that is really inspiring to me is what was shown in the latest exhibition at the Walker, Design for the Other 90%. It was an exhibition with projects showing what engineers/designers have been doing to help those in need. Every single piece cut back on energy, cost, or back-breaking effort on the part of the people using it. And a lot of them seem like such simple solutions that had just been overlooked.

For instance, one invention was this doughnut-shaped barrel that holds water. A worker can tie a rope through the hole in the container, and easily wheel it to the rest of the workers who need water. This is so much easier than alternative forms of transporting water, and so simple!

There were also a few brilliant housing solutions for those in need. One required no tools to assemble, and is made out of weather-resistant materials. It would be easy to ship, easy to assemble, and quite comfortable for a relatively small family. There was also some solar energy kitchen equipment. One of them was basically a huge satellite dish with mirrors all around, and a place for a pot to sit in the middle.

The invention that I was most touched by (shown above) was a straw-like thing that made it safe for people without clean water to sip on any surface water without contracting diseases. Sort of a pocket Brita filter, if you will. Something extremely necessary in some areas of the world.

It is so inspiring to see what is being done for the less fortunate, and it really makes you want to be a part of it all. If this exhibition comes to a museum near you, I highly recommend visiting it. Or you could always come visit and get the full effect of the Walker, the spoon, and the rest of the exhibitions here.

(P.S. To friends and family in H-town, my thoughts are with you this weekend. I hope you remain safe and unharmed by Mr. Ike.)

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