folly receives national Gold Medal design award

Jeffrey Roberts and Erich Stenzel recently attended the 2017 ALA Design Awards where NWD received a Gold Medal award for the Flying Pigs on Parade design. There were many exceptional architecture and design projects represented. NWD was honored to have been selected from the prestigious field of entries. Among the judge's comments: 

"This temporary architecture piece has fabulous spirit and makes a profound political statement."

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competition board 1

competition board 1

competition board 2

competition board 2

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A wall parody...

The “…huge, beautiful wall” topic is unfortunately back in the press. Our studio (New World Design) decided to study what the “WALL” might be as seen through our ardent leader’s thought process. These images and the below description derive from THAT (Mr. Trump's) abstracted lens.

In the theme of “Make America Great Again”, the Wall looks just like a friendly American picket fence (just like when times were good) but 25 feet tall. Both sides can see through, one side can see through to the American dream, the other can see the drug dealers, criminals and rapists being kept out.

The Wall is gold, showing Americans as winners. This is a great symbol for America. It will create envy in those wanting to enter the U.S.

The Wall must protect Americans, so it will have a lethal electric charge. The charged wires are on the Mexican side of the Wall. You can’t see the wires from our side.

Providing that kind of electric charge for a 2000 mile Wall will be challenging. Six new coal electric plants will be built to power the fence. Jobs will be created by building the new power plants, jobs will be created for operating them, and jobs will be created in the coal industry. America wins and Mexico will pay for our Wall.

Executive’s estimated cost: $4 billion (9/2015), $5-10 billion (3/2016), or less than $10 billion (4/2017).

the 25 foot tall "picket fence"

the 25 foot tall "picket fence"

the deterrent side

the deterrent side

making jobs with coal plants

making jobs with coal plants

a beautiful border coal plant

a beautiful border coal plant

a national treasure

a national treasure

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he just keeps giving

The executive branch unfortunately continues to proliferate our country with completely absurd actions. One cannot be an objective citizen of this great country and ignore the differences between basic rights and wrongs. We were taught these as children. These should not be partisan issues.

The past months of this presidency have been a figurative descent through the chapters of Animal Farm. The moral relevancy of our project, sadly, becomes more substantiated each day. 

As the recklessness continues, our team will persist in our efforts to deploy this art installation. We are reassessing deployment strategies in an effort to gain municipal approval in 2018. Please check back for the latest updates!

before & after (better we think!)

before & after (better we think!)

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if it were easy....

After many months of logistical strategizing, technical design and efforts toward municipal approval, we are at a tactical point where we cannot proceed forward with our installation in Chicago in 2017. The balloons (to be fabricated inn England) require six weeks to fabricate and then another two weeks to deliver. This alone pushes the potential float date past September and beyond what we deem as a practical weather window. 

In addition to the timeline logistics, Chicago's transportation department would need to sign off on a permit to dock the construction barge in the designated location (in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower). They are declining to do so. Among the concerns cited by the department are the potential for hindrance of heavy summer commercial and recreational traffic on the river as well as the issue of setting precedent (of allowing docking in the area). 

New World Design is continuing to pursue a 2018 exhibit in Chicago as well as assess opportunities in other cities. This website will remain operational (accepting donations and offering merchandise) as long as the project maintains forward momentum. 

 

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it takes a village (or a very large city)...

We believe that our design is perfectly suited to its time and place in the world. Each day's news validates our belief in this. 

Since early this year NWD has been communicating with city officials seeking permission to deploy our art installation. As this is a unique installation there is no template to look at (for us or the city) in getting to approval. Various departments have been involved in these communications; office of special events, the police marine unit, Chicago Department of Transportation, the Coast Guard, the municipal legal department, the Department of Buildings and the alderman's office. As with any municipality these folks handle many tasks, so the going has been slow. We will know whether our project will move forward in 2017 within the next few days. Please stay tuned.

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our full spring press release
recreation of Battersea Power Station floatation - 2011

recreation of Battersea Power Station floatation - 2011

Likenesses of “Algie” the pig—the iconic inflatable that flew over the Battersea Park Power Station during a 1976 photo shoot for rock band Pink Floyd—will again be seen in the skies, this time in the city of Chicago and with a political statement to make.

"Flying Pigs on Parade: A Chicago River Folly" is an art installation created by New World Design Ltd. partners Jeffrey Roberts and Erich Stenzel. The piece consists of four gold colored helium balloons in the shape of pigs, which will hover, single file, at a height calculated to partially obscure the view of the contentious Trump Tower Chicago sign. The 20-foot x 141-foot “TRUMP” sign was positioned on the Trump International Hotel and Tower in 2014 and immediately drew public criticism for its scale and prominence. The screen of pigs is expected to appear as a single day art installation; a late August or early September deployment date is being negotiated with the City of Chicago. The exhibit will be tethered to a construction barge in the Chicago River and will float south of the tower in the public right-of-way.

Designed to be a visual interpretation of George Orwell's 1946 novella, Animal Farm (which itself was a commentary on political corruption and totalitarianism), the art is intended to function on several levels. Primarily it serves to promote thoughtful, considered dialogue in a political climate that has become increasingly reactionary and divisive. The four pigs are literal representations of characters in Orwell's novella, but they incorporate other references as well, ranging from a nod to Trump’s alleged "Miss Piggy" comment (directed toward a former Miss Universe) to the Trump penthouse interior color scheme.

"The design follows meticulous rationale in imparting layers of meaning but ultimately allows for interpretation by individual viewers," said Roberts.

With the permission of Roger Waters, co-founder, bassist and lead songwriter of Pink Floyd, Roberts and Stenzel will reproduce the original Battersea pig that was featured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s concept album Animals. The album was a musical interpretation of the Animal Farm allegory and a response to sociopolitical conditions in late-70s Britain. The balloon copyright is tightly held by Roger Waters, who has permitted use by New World Design for the art installation.

The balloons will be fabricated in Oxfordshire, England by ABC Inflatables; the company will also provide experienced handlers on site at the art exhibition to inflate and operate the balloons. ABC Inflatables has fabricated two other licensed replicas of the Pink Floyd pig templated from the original inflatable that was conceived by Waters and Hipgnosis in 1976.

Since the scheme’s introduction in late 2016, the design team has been resolving the engineering components and deployment logistics required to safely float the balloons. A website and social media pages have been created to provide project updates.

Roberts and Stenzel hope their art can inspire conversation and political action in the city of Chicago as well as the global community. If adequate funds can be raised, the exhibit will travel

to other U.S. cities. New World Design Ltd. will partner with New World Projects Ltd. for implementation of its art installations.

“We are a small group of designers creating visual commentary on the inflammatory nature of our current political environment. We are not radicals. We see design as our path to building and reinforcing a community of more rational, optimistic and inclusive minds,” said Roberts.

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making pigs fly (technically speaking)

Technically sorting out how to successfully float four massive helium inflatables was a unique challenge for the design team. Thanks to our creative, Chicago based structural engineers, Goodfriend Magruder Structure, the balloons will be safe and stable in light to moderate wind conditions. The upward lift capacity of the balloons was determined by calculating the lift value of the helium volume in combination with the weight of the balloons and tethers. To stabilize the lift value, we will utilize broadly spaced anchoring points on the barge deck. The triangulated tethers will  loop through welded deck anchors allowing for rigging. To add linear stability, the inflatables will be tethered nose-to-tail with calculated cord lengths. 

Using math, science, and a rational process can yield amazing things.

 

 

sketch courtesy of Goodfriend Magruder Structure

sketch courtesy of Goodfriend Magruder Structure

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making massive inflatable pigs

The original inflatable that was conceived by Waters and Hipgnosis in 1976, flew over London's Battersea Power Station to create the artwork that graced the iconic Animals album cover. The inflatables are massive, the size of a London double decker bus. The modern balloons are created out of heavy PVC vinyl and weigh over 100 pounds each. Each balloon requires 10 canisters of helium to inflate and create the lift capacity of a Macy's parade balloon.

We went to the veteran specialty fabricator in Oxfordshire, England for the fabrication of these custom inflatables. In 2011, ABC Inflatables recreated the original Battersea Power Station balloon for Roger Waters and EMI. Two balloons were created, one recreated the flight over the power station, the other flew above the Capital Records Tower in L.A. More recently, one of these balloons was floated 165 feet over the Victoria & Albert Museum to announce the Pink Floyd retrospective exhibit, Our Mortal Remains.

above Capitol Records in 2011

above Capitol Records in 2011

 

 

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telling our story in radio format

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Illinois Public Radio. Since we had the benefit of a little longer air time, it gave a a great opportunity to tell the FPOP story more comprehensively. 

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a thank you to Roger Waters and team

After our initial press release in December 2016, Sean Evans (film director and visual director for Roger Waters) contacted NWD expressing interest and support for our project. He shared the design with Roger Waters, and Roger offered support for our effort, ultimately by allowing the use of the famous Battersea Power Station balloon. The Waters team shared the digital model for the balloon, and NWD updated their renderings and imagery to include the iconic pig balloon (originally known as Algie). NWD is working with a fabricator in Oxfordshire that replicated the balloon for a 2011 Waters/EMI float above the Battersea. If you are not familiar with this inflatable artwork, look it up. It has an interesting legacy. More to follow on the balloon makers.

Kevin Winter - Getty Images

Kevin Winter - Getty Images

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a new graphic

Our graphic designer has created a new "flag" for the project. Taking cues from the four floating pigs (in gold) and manifesting them in a minimalist fashion seemed to articulate the idea in a concise manner. As with the T-shirt design, we use the font from the first edition printing of Animal Farm.

 

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slow but steady progress!

Gaining municipal approval in a major city to deploy an art event of this scale is no small feet. Needless to say, it is a unique project that leaves committee members scratching their heads. We have been patiently working our way through the sequence of the necessary meetings. In general, all is positive, but there are still a variety of issues to resolve before approval can be gained. As soon as we can cross a certain threshold, we will share the story of the process. Until then, we don't feel it is prudent to step on the toes of those that are assisting us through the challenges. No worries on small delays because, as our leadership has shown, the folly's theme will continue to be relevant.

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objectivity

"You can go on and on telling lies, and the most palpable lies at that, and even if they are not actually believed, there is no strong revulsion either. We are all drowning in filth. When I talk to anyone or read the writings of anyone who has an axe to grind, I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgment have simply disappeared from the face of the earth. Everyone's thought is forensic, everyone is simply putting a 'case' with deliberate suppression of his opponent's point of view, and, what is more, with complete insensitiveness to any sufferings except those of himself and his friends…. But is there no one who has both firm opinions and a balanced outlook? Actually there are plenty, but they are powerless. All power is in the hands of paranoiacs.” 

George Orwell, Diaries

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politics and art

"Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole." George Orwell, Why I Write, summer 1946.

 

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Crazy days...

We never set out to be balloon launch experts. New World Design began this effort as a piece of post election therapy for their office. A disillusioned creative office did what designers do best, they designed. In this case they responded to the nagging issue of an ostentatious sign that was installed in 2014, the Trump Tower Chicago sign.

Since the 20' tall T R U M P letters were affixed to the building, they have been chided by the design community for their bad taste. Any name at this scale, be it SMITH or JONES or whatever, would have been unacceptable. It "brands" a highly visible area of Chicago's urban fabric in manner completely unsuited to our city. Then Mr. Trump ran for, and is elected, president via the most tasteless and erratic political display in American history.  Now here we are on Inauguration Day. This is not a "brand" that speaks for the vast majority of Chicagoans.

Over the next few months our intent is to tell the story of this process and experience through this website. We are a small operation that is driven by our passion for fairness in humanity. This is our method for fighting back and giving our community of rational minds a bigger voice.

 

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T-Shirt proofs...

We recently received a "proof" batch of t-shirts. We're intending to offer the shirts for sale with proceeds going to the project implementation effort. The front graphic is distilled from the original project renderings. The back of the shirt offers a simple and clear message. We used the same font as on the cover of the first edition of George Orwell's Animal Farm (Franklin Gothic). The shirts are also American made and printed (contrary to Mr. Trumps products). They will be shipped in environmentally friendly packaging. 

 

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Website Goes Live!

We're excited to announce that our website for the Flying Pigs on Parade project has now gone live! But since you're here and reading this, you already knew that.

NWD has already spent two months assessing practical and technical hurdles. We have proposals from balloon fabricators in the UK (sourced thanks to Roger Waters) as well as launch specialists. Discussions have been held with potential river platform sources. We are in the early stages of the municipal discussions/approvals. 

We have not included a phone number or address on the website. While a great deal of positive feedback was received from initial press releases, there were annoying belligerent calls that were senseless rants. For the time being, please communicate with us through the email address at the bottom of the page, FlyingPigsOnParade@gmail.com.

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