Waller Creek Show

October 2017   Austin, TX

Client

  • Waterloo Greenway

Key Personnel

Team

  • Ilios Lighting Design
  • Austin Architectural Graphics
Image
Photo by Leonid Furmansky
Image
Photo by Leonid Furmansky
Key Points

No Lifeguard on Duty is sited at a unique location on Waller Creek where an aging weir allows the creek’s water to pool and where steps along the creek’s edge invite visitors to dip their feet in the cool water.

Activation

The annual Creek Show is intended to activate Waller Creek to help the city of Austin reconsider it as part of the public realm.

Imagination

Imagination is a radical act in the urban realm. While Waller Creek has served as a floodway for the city, it is important to reconsider how a community interacts with and considers this watershed as it is re-integrated into public space.

Interaction

After opening the show, this installation immediately became interactive. People were jumping on the pool floats, touching the water, and claiming the space as their own.

Image
Photo by Leonid Furmansky

Waller Creek is undergoing a multi-phase redesign to preserve and reintegrate it into public spaces through the city. The Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, City of Austin, and other local stakeholders are engaging the downtown community to re-envision how Waller Creek fits into the public realm as they revitalize the greenway. The annual Creek Show is part of that effort. Austin has a deeply ingrained swimming hole culture that has helped many other naturally-fed bodies of water define the identity of the city, but different considerations need to be made for waterways like Waller Creek that will not support that sort of engagement.

Asakura Robinson was 1 out of 6 teams chosen from a pool of almost 50 applicants to help renegotiate the public relationship with Waller Creek.

Image
Photo by Leonid Furmansky

The installation, entitled No Lifeguard on Duty, was developed as a response to a site along the creek below the 8th Street bridge, but was inspired by cultural elements found elsewhere in Austin, as well as a desire to create an immersive and interactive project. Waller Creek is an urban waterway that has its own complex identity, a composite place influenced by both downtown and the larger watershed. No Lifeguard on Duty proposes a pool club for a waterway that will never have one. Here you can relax by the pool serenaded by the lights and sounds of the Red River cultural district, mingle with other pool-goers, or party till the sun comes up. But remember, there’s no lifeguard on duty.

© David Brendan Hall / www.davidhallphotog.com
© David Brendan Hall / www.davidhallphotog.com
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