Design Guidelines

designing outside the box

The works below may not be what immediately come to mind for making art sculptures movable or winning races. “Water Sports” was heavy, metal, and had giant wheels. “Forty Feet” walked with 40 metal feet. “Sisyphus” turned using square wheels.  Some of the best works come in last. (B&W images, G. Koetsch; color, A. Held)

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Water Sports, John Weidman                Sisyphus, Harvard Physics Team

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Forty Feet, Jo Kord

 

Official Guidelines for Races*

  1. The overarching aesthetic is spectacle, towards which end art object, artists, and actions form a whole artwork. Other important aesthetic elements are personal expression and capturing the imagination.
  2. All works must be human-powered, i.e. pushed, pulled, or pedaled.
  3. Pedaled work must have someone running along with it or move no more than two meters with each pedal turn, so as not to disadvantage contenders on foot. Bicycles–covered or not–are not permitted, though bicycle parts may be used. (These are new guidelines for 2016).
  4. As the work is outside, it should be of adequate scale, color and amplitude to make an impact in all weathers.
  5. All sculptures must be able to traverse a ¾ mile flat, obstacle-free course.
  6. Rolling parts (such as wheels) or other devices (such as metal feet–see Kord piece above) making motive contact with the ground must be integral to the artistic work.
  7. Artists may determine whether speed is important to them. Some of the best works in the history of sculpture racing always arrived last (see Weidman piece above). Artists should consider the aesthetic of the anti-vehicle. All artists will be honored.
  8. Performances and artwork/eventwork that generate live, creative sound are encouraged.
  9. Please also see Engineering Guidelines.

*Changes to Guidelines

1/24/16 – “With respect to pedaled vehicles: Bicycles–covered or not–are not permitted, though bicycle parts may be used. There will be additional qualifications for other pedaled works TBA.”

3/15/16 – Additional qualifications (see immediately above): “Pedaled work must have someone running along with it or move no more than two meters with each pedal turn, so as not to disadvantage contenders on foot.”

Changes are since February 2015

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Please see the World Sculpture Racing Society artist pages in the About section for additional design and racing suggestions, and the Make pages for important engineering considerations (e.g. the work may not be wider than the street).