Everything in the world has been designed by somebody, and putt-putt is no exception. For this year’s Detroit Design Festival, a small unit of designers within ROSSETTI decided to put an architectural spin on the classic game. The result was an interactive installation and experiment in place-making called Push//Rotate//Play.
The full team, consisting of Lauren McQuistion, Elizabeth Stanfel, Adam Hoane, Carla Landa, and Rana Malik, dubbed themselves R/ALL. “I attended an info session at DC3 in April and brought the idea of entering a designer putt-putt contest to our emerging professionals group. A few of us came together to create a submission,” said Elizabeth Stanfel.
The idea evolved from a series of Post-it notes. The team wanted an interactive activity with replay possibilities. Designed around a program of rearranging units, the course invites users to design their own experience. In its initial state, the course creates a finite space. Two benches face each other in conversation and are surrounded by a screen of flexible, oscillating yard markers. The benches are cut by the lines of the grid and the nine squares move into a variety of arrangements according to the user’s needs.
“Fabrication was a lot of experimentation with the make lab and a lot of good lessons learned, especially with materials,” said Adam Hoane. “I even had to pull out my physics knowledge to make sure the entire thing wouldn’t roll away when it was all put together.”
The course took more than a month to complete and evolved considerably. “In our first conversation as a group, we wanted the design in part to have a functional second life as furniture. Just as the flexibility of the putt-putt hole allows for variations of play, the individual seating pieces when disengaged from the base panels can be composed as a bench or individually as stools in a grouping or on their own,” said Lauren McQuistion.