Welcome to IA review from Ignition Arts! September kicks off the conference season, when we take time to connect with industry innovators, develop new skills, and take a break from day-to-day practicalities to engage with big-picture thinking. Things look a little different this year, but the spirit remains the same. The 2020/2021 Exhibit Columbus Symposium and Exhibition New Middles has begun, with all talks and discussions occurring via livestream. Registration is free - a fantastic opportunity to engage with creative minds working to solve critical problems through futuristic thinking and imaginative design.
Ignition Arts is an Indianapolis based design, technology, and fabrication firm owned by Brian McCutcheon. We provide design development, fabrication, logistics, and installation for artists, designers, and architects from around the world.
Salem Police Department, Oregon
Fabrication is moving along on Blessing Hancock's lighted sculpture for the Salem Police Department's new headquarters. The stone-shaped sculpture incorporates language contributed by the Salem community. Different colors of LED lighting illuminate the community's words and phrases, projecting themes of honor, protection, and service. Hancock prizes community engagement in the development of her brilliant public works. See more of her projects on her website.
STAFF SPOTLIGHT: ZACH YOUNG
Digital Fabrication & Design Manager
We frequently reference our high-tech capabilities here at Ignition, but what specifically do we we mean when we say we offer cutting edge design and fabrication technologies? Part of that answer is found by taking a closer look at our awesome staff.
Zach is Ignition's lead digital fabricator and designer. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Masters of Architecture from Ball State University. His graduate thesis work focused heavily on digital fabrication methods, providing him with experience in operating 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, and a Kuka Robotic Arm.
At Ignition, Zach is lead on the design and development of all digital models and documentation, directing all projects with computational design elements requiring the use of the CNC equipment, and applying his depth of design and technology expertise toward creative problem-solving throughout the design, build, and installation phases of our projects. In a sense, he is an expert translator - from concept, to digital model, to physical form.
What do you enjoy most about working at Ignition Arts?
Ignition Arts is structured more like a studio environment than a traditional corporation. I like being able to collaborate with fabricators and office staff to get multiple viewpoints on a project, which helps evolve my knowledge and understanding of how to build complex assemblies with precision. From the beginning of my employment at IA, I've been encouraged to get involved at every stage of a project, from concept design to installation.
What role does creativity play in your work at Ignition?
Most projects present at least a few opportunities for creative problem solving, often to help keep a project on budget and/or on time. Because we are an arts fabrication company, and many of our staff have backgrounds in art and design, our clients are open to hearing proposed solutions that might address a challenge creatively and keep the project moving forward.
Describe a favorite project?
Table for CAL (Collaborative Architecture Library). The flex-function table folds from a dining table into a standing desk. I enjoyed all of the challenges that came with making a table that adapts to the user's needs.
The design and build contained very tight tolerances in order to construct a table that could smoothly transition between the different heights. The project required large amounts of computational design. We designed and cut out wooden jigs on the CNC router, and then used the jigs to align and precisely bend the metal parts for the legs on the CNC press brake.
Describe a challenging project?
Wall Mounted Truck, for Cummins Corporate Office Building in Columbus, IN. Ignition was commissioned by Cummins and The Brand Experience to mount a full-size, fully operational Dodge truck to the wall - one of the earliest trucks off the assembly line with a stock Cummins engine.
This project required constant communication with the engineers at TLF inc to ensure the structure inside the wall worked with the mounts on the truck. We designed a structure that could rotate and lift the truck in a very tight space, and also be deconstructed after mounting without damaging the truck or the newly renovated lobby. The day we hung the truck on the wall was a 16 hour day.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about our valued team members! Zach's ability to mediate between virtual and physical space takes Ignition's capabilities to the next level - giving us even more confidence in the belief that we can build anything. Head over to Zach's instagram and give him a follow @zr_young. His grid is full of beautiful imagery and video documenting his work on projects at Ignition, graduate research on robotic extrusion materials, and his S550 GT Mustang.
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