The second annual Northern Spark, on June 9th and 10th, featured 200 artists, 120 projects, 10 food trucks, five Minneapolis neighborhoods, and a handful of Architecture students from the College of Design.
The students, who took Blaine Brownell's Third Nature Catalyst course in Spring of 2012, displayed their work along the Mississippi River Parkway near the 3rd Ave Bridge in Minneapolis. The course looked at cross-overs and hybrid conditions characterizing a "third nature", where computationally generated form and technology in architecture are integrated by design with ecological materials and natural processes.
Teams were instructed to design wetware habitable cladding (wood dwelling spaces that will eventually rot away) for various locations along a pedestrian bridge. Once installed, the cladding would provide homes for various native insects, as well as a food source and shelter for migrating birds. Students worked with driftwood or reused wood and 3D imaging tools to create their final designs.