In Tempe there are two pedestrian axes: Mill Avenue and Palm Walk. Mill Avenue is successful and Palm Walk is not. Palm Walk exists as an icon of luxury styling that once attracted students, but is still the most functional path on campus. Is there a way to make the palm trees useful to the students? Capitalize on the inherited repetition, regularity and tallness of the palms to support a new language of change. A path always reconfiguring itself to temporary demand—a Perpetual Emergent Path (PEP)
PEP adjusts to: Time of use, seasonal data, daily use information, weather predictions, social patterning, GPS uploading, movement tracking, event planning, spontaneous happenings, formal design, online input, pedestrian densities, cell phone usage, noise sensors, shade calculation, types of pedestrian travel, energy use, open space percentages etc
The structure is powered by buried hydraulic pressure systems giving vertical movement to the layer/palm interface. The form of every layer is controlled by the palm tree structure in relation to connected cable tensions. Forces are allowed to pass through every connection at the vertical structure interface to allow tension adjustments. Vertical hydraulic pressure tubes split into two forces —one for each palm structure ring to move independently from each other. Found at every connection between perpendicular running cables, the plugin components offer options for temporary planned programs such as art galleries, booths, back splashes, small projection screens, wanted ads, etc.
The path is looked at as a people mover, forgetting the pockets of space that expand and collapse on both sides. These leftovers provide opportunities for rotating events, planned exhibitions, concerts and spontaneous gatherings. A connecting path more responsive to student life than the places it links.