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BKL takes up art – Poetry Booster
In the spring of last year, BKL was presented with an unusual request – we were asked to become involved in an art project – the Poetry Booster. We were intrigued and keen to take on this unique opportunity as it is different from our usual work.
The Poetry Booster project is a joint initiative involving engineers, poets and artists from across the Netherlands as part of the “Leeuwarden – European capital of culture 2018”. One component of this project is the development of a four-meter tall rotating interactive structure on which the poetry of local artists – in the case, of Friesland – can be displayed.
BKL’s role in this project was to assist the printer manufacturer firm involved in this project – Hollanders Printing Solutions – with strength calculations and safety analysis during the development of the novel structure. Given that the Poetry Booster would be displayed to the public, including children, the project involved several factors that do not usually come into play in our typical work. For example, our designs are usually developed and tested with adult operators in mind. In the case of the Poetry Booster, we had to prepare for the unexpected and unpredictable. Taking this into account, we could not rely on the standard spatial dimensions we usually apply alone. Instead, we also had to refer to the safety standards and considerations used in the manufacture of toys and playground equipment.
BKL worked closely with the designer of the installation to conduct a FEM analysis of the frame, and apply an Safety Risk Analysis to the human safety aspects relating to the concept, to ensure that the structure was safe and suitable for all life phases. From manufacturing, transport, assembly, long term (use) display to maintenance and decommissioning. After several months of close collaboration, the Poetry Booster is now open to the public.
While it was challenging to work on this unusual initiative, it gave our team an opportunity to adapt, think outside the box and learn about new aspects of design, and strength and safety analysis. It is not every day that BKL gets to work with art, so we are happy to have played a part in this great initiative, which will be enjoyed by many.