UBC Undergraduate Research

New SUB art Runoff Lovatt, William; Young, Robert; Fong, Julian; Simard, James


This report details the conceptual design of the Runoff proposal for the New SUB Sustainability Art Project. Runoff is composed of a series of garden platforms suspended above a small pool. From the ceiling a small waterfall begins and falls from platform to platform down into the pool. Each platform can slowly rotate around the pool causing the path of the waterfall to change over time. The water would then be pumped back to the top via the central shaft so as to minimize wastage. The mechanism at the top which moves the platforms will be visible and be formed of a complex structure of gearing, resembling clockwork; a matching set of gearing will also reside within the pool. Sensors at the edge of the pool will detect the presence of passersby and viewers allowing the movement of the platforms and water to change based on the movement of the crowd. This project is intended to integrate seamlessly into the New SUB Atrium by making use of the large amount of pre-existing vertical space available. It is suspended from the concrete ceiling of the atriums 3rd floor allowing for a very large structure that takes up comparatively little floor space. This pool is twelve feet in diameter and its silhouette is superimposed on the buildings floor plan on page 5 for visual reference. Aesthetically, Runoff aims to be visually stunning not only in terms of scale but also in creativity and visual design. Each platform is intended to be its own piece of art, unique from every other platform. This will be accomplished by theming them after a different culture or environment and allowing difference groups from around campus to contribute to their design. This will be accompanied by an overarching color scheme and material selection which is intended to match that of the new SUB’s interior. Runoff’s contribution to sustainability on campus will be in its message and its construction. The piece itself invokes water flowing from a mechanical and industrial beginning and filtering through the environment and agriculture down into a communal pool, from which the cycle repeats. Materials will be selected based on their sustainability and every effort will be made to source them locally. Through this we hope to illustrate that even technically complex construction can feasibility be undertaken while minimizing environmental impact. Technically, Runoff is extremely ambitious and will require a substantial engineering effort to bring it to life. Several months of design work will be needed to turn the concept proposed in this report into a fully realized design. It will require a large scale interdisciplinary effort from engineers, architects and artists, as well as the aid of many others for fabrications and assembly. It is our hope that this piece will stand as a lasting tribute to both engineering and art at UBC. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada

Usage Statistics