June 24, 2009

Make Your Own Inaba-style Pool Noodle Rooftop Furniture


A bunch of art world non-profits [as if there were any other kind of organization in the art world at the moment] are holding a big love-in of some kind this week at X Initiative, the old Dia building in Chelsea.

On the roof where Dan Graham's mirrored glass cylinder pavilion used to be is Jeffrey Inaba's Pool Noodle Rooftop, a seating installation for 150 made out of--you guessed it--chopped up pool noodles. There will be film screenings or, if the past week is any indication, everyone will just sit and sulk in the $#(*%ing rain.

Either way, if you can't make it to Chelsea, you could always just chop up a bale or two of pool noodles and hot glue your own Inaba-style seating elements. Let's figure out how it's done!

Judging by the guy seated in the photo above--the one pushing the Silver Cross Dazzle, whoa, haven't seen one of those in the wild before!--Inaba's seats are mostly 15 inches high. The closeup shot below shows two of the X-shaped seats pushed together; each uses 492 noodles, arranged in five 10x10 row squares [the corner noodles are left off for a beveled effect.] Two of the cube modules incline to make a backrest around 20-22 inches high. So each X-unit will need about 715 linear feet of noodle.


If each noodle is five feet long and yields 3 or 4 pieces, depending, holy crap, that's 140 noodles for each seating element. A quick search shows noodles are almost $30/dozen, which seems insane. That's $340 worth of noodles per seat.

Near as I can tell, you just chop'em and hot glue the things together, so even if it's not cheap, it could go quickly. Or maybe not. For the thirty 5-person seating units in Pool Noodle Rooftop, Inaba has profusely thanked a whopping 32 people. I'm sure not all 32 were slaving away with glue guns, but still. Best to have a few interns handy before you start.

update: Maybe not. In the comments, Micah points to archpaper's coverage of the Pool Noodle debut, which includes detail shots of the 2-3 layers of nylon webbing threaded through all the noodle seats. Also, each unit took 5 hours to make, so double up on the interns.

Noodling in Chelsea - Inaba slideshow and press release [archinect]
No Soul for Sale runs through June 28 [x-initiative.org via archinect]


Oooh - if they put some florescents (or perhaps some other, greener, friendly kind of lighting) underneath it would look like a huge Lite-Brite!

Looks like they may be connected with more than just hot glue:


Also, if you're hot on the Silver Cross Dazzle, I know someone in NYC who is trying to sell one in very good condition (or at least she was trying to sell it a few weeks ago--not sure if she succeeded or not).

noodles are a $1 at the dollar store all summer long :)

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