Intro: ShowBox - Create Your Own Street Stage and Seating
ShowBox is temporary street furniture, stage, play space, and inspirational zone constructed from simple, readily accessible, low-tech materials. Created as an installation for the Market Street Prototyping Festival, a three day street festival in San Francisco, this project was inspired by the historic theatre and arts district, as well as the strong presence of street performance in the area. The stepping form resembles the cities skyline, changing ones viewpoint and perception of the street as you interact with the object. Throughout the festival, performers from all walks of life were featured on and around Showbox, activating the project and streetscape while creating a zone of cultural and social interaction.
Future organization can take any form to fit your desired space and use. As a prototype, this Instructable is not ment for a permanent structure.
Step 1: Materials
This project could be taken from extremely simple and low tech to much a more intensive and permanent installation. As shown in this Instructable, the framework of ShowBox is completely made from the following materials and can be done using only basic hand tools.
1. 16" Sonotube concrete forming tubes (or similar)
2. 1 1/2" Plywood
3. 12" Zipties
Additional materials may include
- Screws (to permanently attach lids)
Step 2: Design
ShowBox went through numerous design iterations before our final amorphous, site specific form took shape. The tiered layout stemmed from the design of auditorium seating, along with a desire to create a stepping street playspace. We hoped to create something that blended with its environment, creating a dialogue between what is sidewalk and what is play/ stage/ seating.
Step 3: Fabrication
Lids: (5) 1 1/2" x 4' x 8' plywood boards
1 1/2" Plywood was cut on a CNC machine to create 16 1/2" diameter circles for the lids.
A 3/4" deep lip was routed out to create a 15 7/8" circle, allowing the lid to snugly fit into the tube.
* 63 lids were routed in 3 hours.
Tubes: (11) 12' x 16" Sonotubes
12' tubes were cut at 6" intervals at heights of 1' - 5' to create the final 63 pieces.
Measuring: In order to increase speed and accuracy, butcher paper templates were made at the various heights with corresponding instructions (see attached). Tubes were then numbered for ease of final assembly.
Cutting: Each 12' tube was cut down to size using hand held circular saws.
Drilling: Templates and instruction packets were again made with heights and drill locations. Holes were drilled with a 5/8" drill bit for final zip tie assembly.
Step 4: Installation
For the final assembly, all the tubes were placed on site to guarantee proper alignment with the tree grates. To speed up the assembly process, the plan was broken into six groups and tubes were laid on their sides for initial attachments. Zip ties were threaded through pre drilled holes on both the top and bottom to ensure stability. After the initial groups were assembled we had to lift the sections to do the final attachments on the bottom. Good thing we had a great team in place, you wouldn't think it, but all that cardboard can get heavy! Finally, lids were placed and then screwed on.
Step 5: ShowBox in Action
Throughout the 3 day festival, events took place using the project as both seating and stage. Programming varied from open mic and piano to spoken word to professional dance pieces.
For the temporary install, audio equipment was brought in separately.
As a permanent installation, audio equipment would be integrated into the piece and tapped into the city grid to allow for easily accessible pop-up performance.
Step 6: Other Uses
Although originally created as street furniture, ShowBox was up-cycled as planters, tables, and a jungle gym. The lids were donated to a local artist. Use your imagination!