Louder Than a Bomb
All Entries > Building Architecture
Louder Than a Bomb is a youth poetry festival started in Chicago in 2001. Since it’s founding, it has become the largest youth poetry festival in the world, and has spawned competitions in urban areas throughout the country. “The value of the program is that it offers a vehicle for the voice of the youth, while providing mentorship and guidance, personal confidence, an improved sense of agency, and a broader understanding of others, all the while increasing literacy and community among young students through competition.” We teamed up with the local Louder than a Bomb organization to create a series of transformable performance environments for the 2015 Finals held in Cincinnati. For 15 weeks, we collaborated with more than 12 local academic and community organizations and sponsors to design and construct portable, prefabricated performance environments (platforms, walls, seats, lighting, etc.) for the competitors to use during their performances. We worked directly with full-scale mock-ups and working prototypes as our primary mode of design inquiry. The fabrications were intended to support the young poets, yet not distract from the performances. The material assemblies needed to be easily assembled and dis-assembled, inexpensive, durable, and performative in their own right. The prototypes will be re-purposed for subsequent competitions, and are intended to be altered for new or changing criteria.