Viral capsids were magnified and fashioned into geodesic greenhouses to grow therapeutic herbs for each virus.
The Beam Summer Camp commissioned this collaborative project for which I designed domes based on the protein structures of four viruses. Many viruses organize their proteins according to geodesic patterns. Among these are the hepatitis C virus, HIV, the rhinovirus (cold-flu) and the herpes virus.
Over the course of the project, the counselors and 60 campers interpreted and constructed these sculptural shelters after my designs. They learned building and creative crafts, cared for plants, discovered viruses and microbes, and explored the territories of their own bodies as fodder for art-making. They also contributed the fantastical “Beam” virus, representing their own infectious qualities. The Viral Domes became their shelters, playspaces and activity centers while still inspiring the yuck factor.
Geodesic Viral Domes
Many thanks to the all the Beam Campers who made the project possible and added their own individual talents to the collective realization of the domes. A special thanks to the Beam Camp movers and shakers: Danny Kahn, Brian Cohen and Jan Drojarski. To all those at Beam, too numerous to mention, who contributed their creative energy, time and resolve.