This was an exhibition inspired by Vinay Gupta’s recent visit to Winchester School of Art during which he and the MA Fine Art students built a hexayurt in the School grounds. Students were asked to respond to this in whatever manner was appropriate for their work. They were not requested to design shelters or to figure out a way to improve the hexayurt. This is not a project about attempting to do what Vinay spent many years doing. The responses could be emotional, intellectual, imaginative, formal, conceptual, associative, analytic, sensual, or some combination of these and might be realised in any medium/material. At the centre of the exhibition was a video document of the workshop and hexyurt build at Winchester School of Art.

Vinay Gupta is one of the world’s leading thinkers on infrastructure theory, state failure solutions, and managing global system risks including poverty/development and the environmental crisis. Vinay has made substantial contributions to disaster relief, contingency management and environmentalism. While at the Rocky Mountain Institute, he worked on Small is Profitable (The Economist’s Book of the Year, 2003) on renewable energy economics; and Winning the Oil Endgame, a Pentagon-funded study on US energy independence. His core approach is to design public domain technological solutions which render hard problems soluble. Most notable is the hexayurt, a disaster relief shelter designed to be made using standard building industry components and skills; and Cheap ID, a genocide-resistant biometrics architecture designed for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

 Vinay was instrumental in the creation of STAR-TIDES, a US National Defense University disaster management program, focused on open source and open collaboration.. His infrastructure modeling language, Simple Critical Infrastructure Maps, is in use at NDU and elsewhere.

The hexayurt is an update on Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome and is a sturdy, affordable, easy-to-build temporary shelter. The geometry has been adjusted slightly to make it easier to build from materials like plywood, insulation, plastic, cardboard and more. The hexayurts are made from only one kind of triangle: an 8′ x 8′ isosceles triangle, rather than the strangely-shaped triangles which are standard for Fuller-style geodesic domes.

Some images from the exhibition

Exhibition runs from 21 November until 15 December 2011.

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University of Southampton Hartley Library

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