Public Space Challenge Winner Profile: Christine Zavesky, Drawbridge Projections: Thoughts on Water

Written By Josie Gulliksen
January 6, 2016 at 1:49 PM

Public Space Challenge Winner Profile: Christine Zavesky, Drawbridge Projections: Thoughts on Water

Think how many times you’ve sat in your car and watched the N.E. Second Avenue’s drawbridge at the Miami River open and close. It’s one of those mundane, almost daily occurrences that all Downtown Miami commuters must deal with.

The view was just as boring for Christine Zavesky, a bicycle commuter and studio design associate formerly with Arquitectonica who had an epiphany of sorts one day while waiting at the bridge.

“Activating the drawbridge in some form had been in my mind for several years. As a bicycle commuter, when I would get caught at the base of the vertical roadways, I would momentarily daydream about what they could become,” Zavesky said. “It was fascinating that the rhythm of downtown was influenced by the maritime layer of movement.”

After combing through a variety of ideas, she finally decided on projecting poems onto the drawbridge. That decision came after scrapping the idea of more permanent interventions involving paint or applied graphics after the logistics of cost, execution, and maintenance challenged the question of feasibility.

For the final result, she decided on projecting light as a temporal installation, particularly during the evening “when traffic is most tempered,” she said. “Light as a medium opens up the possibility for variety: and these intersections where vehicle, pedestrian, cyclist, and ocean vessel overlap, have been experienced by most Miamians.”

The central idea behind Drawbridge Projections: Thoughts on Water is to invert the experience of being caught at the Brickell Avenue Bridge into a positive moment, “where people could reflect on the thoughts of others through a unified theme: the topic of water,” she said.

Here are the logistics necessary to make the project happen:

In order to achieve a clear and crisp image, the texts will be projected through metal slides with a high-power led light source. A mock-up was installed back in May to test the legibility of the projection on the perforated roadway.

Possible exact location of projections include the vertical face of the Brickell Avenue Bridge’s north leaf, and the east elevation of 444 Brickell, which faces the Miami Circle and the entrance of the Miami River. The visual proximity to Biscayne Bay and Port Miami; the physical proximity to the Miami Circle Park and vibrant businesses, coupled with the diversity in modes of movement are what makes this site so appealing.

The projection series is anticipated to run for one month during the winter. Thirty submitted texts will be selected by a jury of local writers and poets.

Zavesky is appreciative of the Miami Foundation’s generosity for being able to meet her requested budget, which includes funding for materials, workshops, and jury.

In the end, she hopes her project encourages community participation through the poetic expression of water, one of Miami’s greatest public assets.

“I hope that the installation promotes a sense of shared authorship and ownership of the projected works, with the collection of texts generated by the public and site synthesizing into one body,” she said.

Her aspirations are in line with her personal goals as a designer and graduate student at Yale University. Her curiosity is driven by an interest in conveying stories in the built world, a love of material explorations, multi-cultural connections and the search for ties between seemingly unrelated elements. Sounds a lot like her Drawbridge Projections initiative.

Read about Christine Zavesky’s project on the Miami Foundation website.

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