Autonomy, Complicity & Ascension | Ramp Construction

Our group had the task of creating a ramp that would ascend the person physically with textural qualities that would get finer as they came towards the end of the journey.

Ramp Construction Diagram
The ramp with textures applied

First of all we went and investigated what materials were available to use and the prices, and if there were any platforms that we could use. This would significantly reduce the cost as a platform would not then need to be constructed. We found that there were two 2.4mx1.2m plastforms which were 30cm high and ideal for the task.

As suggested in past group ideas in sensory ways that a person could ascend would be to have rougher / larger textures to start with and as you travel up it becomes finer. We decided to use beads, gravel and sand for this.

Initially we created a sketchup model to figure out the construction method we were to use. We originally had a ramp that measured 3.2m x 2m but we decided it would be beneficial to the budget and construction method to reduce the size so that we could use whole pieces from the CNC machine.

The slotted grid structure supporting the ramp.

We chose to use 18mm MDF for the slotted structure with the pieces on a 30cm grid. This took up a full sheet that we purchased from the university workshop. On top of that we screwed a 1.2m x 2.4m ramp top made from 12mm MDF which also used a full sheet. We then used half a sheet of 9mm MDF to create the top layer of the ramp which would house the variety of textures. This was then spray painted black with larger pieces being screwed on top of the 12mm layer and the side pieces glued on.

Now that we had the ramp constucted, it was time to apply the textures into the four slots starting with the roughest

To stick the textures to the ramp we put a layer of PVA glue down and laid a stone base. We filled in with more stones / gravel and then poured over a diluted PVA glue solution to secure them in place. We repeated for the other textures and left to dry.

Completed ramp.

Going forward we would be testing how users interact with the ramp in the setting of the performance.

Written by : Lauren Francis (MArch)

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