Public Utilities

Outpost Office

Plaza 1º Mayo + Schools – Concéntrico 10

Public Utilities is the latest drawing in a series of large-scale public works exploring the spatial potential of mark-making. Each installation utilizes GPS-controlled painting robots to create site-specific, building-size drawings at a 1:1 scale. The series employs measuring, delineating, and marking techniques to investigate architecture as the dynamic performance of spatial instructions. Each installation is water-soluble, non-toxic, and temporary, eschewing waste often associated with temporary architecture.

In Logroño a colorful installation inspired by modest utility markings on construction job sites. Often applied in bright, fluorescent colors, these preparatory markings indicate boundaries and provide instructions to workers. As instructions, these striking markings are usually indecipherable to passersby, but to the trained eye, they denote construction limits, survey markings, and utilities like power lines, gas, and communications. Public Utilities will activate multiple public spaces, including Plaza Primero de Mayo and two area schools with dynamic inscriptions that suggest new programs and patterns of use for existing public spaces. Working at multiple scales, these public instructions will suggest new organizations and pathways, but their precise use is open to civic interpretation. Visitors and residents observe and inhabit the enormous graphic pattern throughout the drawing process in a large public performance, all choreographed by a small drawing robot.

At its core, Public Utilities is part of an ongoing investigation into the civic potential of notation. Can we make architecture through drawing — not as instructions for building, but as space itself?

Outpost Office

Outpost Office—a collaboration between Ashley Bigham and Erik Herrmann—designs installations, events, and buildings that challenge architecture’s core tenets of permanence and accumulation by proposing provisional, open-ended, and contingent environments.

Ashley Bigham is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University. She has been a Fulbright Fellow in Ukraine, a MacDowell Fellow, and a Walter B. Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Erik Herrmann is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University. He has been a German Chancellor Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a MacDowell Fellow, and a Walter B. Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Ashley and Erik hold a Master of Architecture from Yale University School of Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design.

Outpost Office was named one of Architect Magazine’s Next Progressives in 2019 and awarded Artist in Residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts and Loghaven 2023. Their project Drawing Fields won the 2020 Ragdale Ring competition and has been recognized with a Best of Design Award from Architect’s Newspaper and a Faculty Design Award from the ACSA. Outpost Office’s work and writing have been featured in Log, Metropolis, Mark, Surface, Avery Shorts, and MAS Context. The practice’s work has been exhibited at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Tallinn Architecture Biennale, Roca London Gallery, Yale School of Architecture, Princeton School of Architecture, Harvard GSD, and The Cooper Union.

With the collaboration of

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