This version of Bodhi Tree was customized and designed for a residence in Evansville, IN. The clients originally articulated the desire to replace an existing plastic tree, with something more expressive and elegant. The system was reinterpreted for this specific application, consisting of more than 3,000 wood veneer components, which were redesigned at 2/3 scale of the original piece for residential use, increasing the complexity of the overall pattern and rigidity of the system. The wood species and pattern chosen was based on existing color tones and design of the space. In order to streamline the installation process, the components were prefabricated, sorted, and packaged offsite and brought to the client.
We considered Bodhi Tree for this application due to its necessary involvement between designer and client. Over a two-day period the system was installed with the direct involvement of the family members, who helped with the overall design intention and assembly of the final piece. In this way, Bodhi Tree became more than a foreign object placed in their living room. It became an experience that the family will remember as well as an object that redefines how their space feels and is used.
We found this interaction between client and designer/fabricator interesting as it relates to our process. The client’s direct involvement with the design and assembly changed how value was placed on the project, as they became more than a consumer. They were part of the assembly and decision making process, directly affecting the outcome of their project. Assembly became more than labor, and design became accessible. We hope to continue engaging in this type of client relationship in the future.