The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB) is an artist-run, renovated recreational vehicle that exists as a flexible space open to community members’ proposals for alternative educational and cultural programming.

MLAB is the collaborative effort of the 2007-2008 Social Sculpture class at Syracuse University, comprised of 10 art and architecture students and lead by artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts of Syracuse University, Marion Wilson. Our mission was to transform a used, 1984 Recreational Vehicle Bus into a Mobile Literacy and Arts Bus for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community. MLAB serves as a physical manifestation of Syracuse University’s Scholarship in Action initiative, by pairing University resources with community needs in an attempt to address the staggering drop out rates in the Syracuse City School District High Schools. Through the School of Education at Syracuse University, incredible curricula that bridge photography, poetry and literacy currently exist within the public schools-- however due to a crisis of space, the schools don't always have the space or resources to house it. MLAB is this space. The bus serves as a mobile classroom, digital photo lab, gallery space, and community center. As a team, we did it all: demolition, design, and construction.

MLAB is made possible from the generous support of the School of Education at Syracuse University and Entitiative.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pillow Talk

This is Sam writing.

On Tuesday Marion and I met with Stephanie Liner (professor of sculpture/artist/upholsterer/human), who showed us some upholstering solutions, but quickly we came to realize cushions would be more practical as they are easier to clean and move about a space.  She is willing to give us cushion tutorials if we cannot navigate our way through the milky seas of pleasurefully plastic-ey fabric we have.

We journeyed to Joann Fabrics where we chose a kind of table cloth/vinyl white material for the cushion prototypes.  It's surface is water resistant and can be wiped down for cleaning.

In terms of color, this of course is up to discussion, but I was drawn to white  for its bright freshy freshness.  In order to make unique each pillow, possibly rendering a little identity for each within a cohesive aesthetic could easily be attained through incorporating different colors and textures in splashes and blips on the neutral white.  Lots o possibilities.  

Something tactile, pleasing, comfortable, flexible, visually interesting, probably simple.

There are a many number of ways to approach making the pillow---we have densified batting rectangles that are 3-4 inches thick ( 17"x15"x3" and 22x22x4) that are precut as individual shapes that act as the pillow form-- no stuffing involved.

I say no zippers.  Zippers are treacherous territory of snags and frustration.  

Flaps, velcro, buttons, ties, grommets, OR not a case at all--but a sewed up enclosure seem to be the way to go.  If the surface is to be wiped down for cleaning then perhaps we need not to have the fibrous innards removable. 


Roslyn said...

What sort of batting are you looking at? I would recommend the foam-core stuff. It comes in about 4-5" think pieces and works nicely when making cushions. It looks like you'd also be able to cut it out with a saw or an electronic meat cutting knife. I would not go with a cotton candy like batting that is easily pulled apart, I just don't think it would hold up in terms of ware. I like the idea of the vinyl, for its easy clean ability but you might also want to check out the heavy weight material found in the curtain section on those huge rolls. It can be pretty resilient but have an nice soft non-plasticy inviting feel. Basically, I'm just thinking vinyl may just be too stiff.

M-Lab said...

great job Samantha, can't wait to see those samples.
i think you should write a column.