Innovation is applicable to all fields; especially those that lack functionality or do not offer pleasing design. What is more ready for rethinking the all too common projecting blemishes we know to be baseball chain fencing. I am not here to try and bash America’s Past Time (even though I could write an even longer post about that), instead, bring attention to our culture’s tolerance with such unseemly structures. Maybe there is hope. Right here, in our own city, there was a firm that incorporated the backstop at a baseball stadium into a community project to tie a park together in order to create cohesion of other park programs. The project team led by James Brenner used ‘Cor-Ten all weathering steel, sculpted green jade float glass, galvanized steel’ that stands 22-1/2 feet tall by 45 feet wide. The idea has clear benefits in seeing the field during play and other structural elements were said to be improved by the subtraction of metal piping. The most impactful part on the community of choosing to use glass and steel is evident in its obvious unbelonging nature. No longer will passerby see this corner of the park as recreational area, but as something that gives the community identity. The idea to replace something in a community that is such an iconic staple in a ballpark to something that is almost unrecognizable to the sport is not just functionally innovative, but it actually is innovation that could change the identity of baseball culture. It is arguable that the effects of changing the facade of a ballpark could reinvigorate the sport in a community. If nothing else, the presence of an artistic take on a cultural sore thumb is something a community can absorb into its culture.
Coda Worx. “Innovation Field” Accessed September 8, 2016.
Brenner, James. Innovation Field. 2010. CODA WORX, Minneapolis, Minnesota.