The IDEA Campus, Tempe, AZ
Throughout the world, rivers are shaped by the generations of people who inhabit its banks and also by the dynamics of water acting over time on the composition of the geology, topology, and ecology. The concept for the IDEA Campus art installation explores the movement of rivers described by the combination of time and the geological palimpsest carved along the terrain by the ever changing flow of water along its waterway.
Viewed over a period of decades, the path of the water is both familiar and distinct. The meandering bends are the resultant of hydrological forces where the constant flow of water finds the path of least resistance through a process of erosion. Like a fingerprint, all rivers are uniquely singular and yet they all exhibit similar patterns of movement and change.
The morphology of the terrain along the path of the river is clearest when viewed over long spans of time, and yet, the natural and human caused events that change the course of the river’s flow are often immediate and random. The path of a river is impossible to predict. However, there are behavior tendencies of the water when combined with the composition of the land viewed over a specific period of time that can be simulated to generate a meandering form found in all rivers.
Site plan illustrating placement of The Meander sculptures