From April 30 through June 1, the public will be able play with over 650,000 translucent plastic balls in the subterranean trolley station under Dupont Circle, known as Dupont Underground. Each of the balls in the interactive art exhibit will be arranged in 18,000 3x3x3 cubes. With velcro attached to each cube, visitors will then be able to manipulate the layout of the exhibit.
The exhibit will be located in Dupont Underground's 14,000-square-foot east platform and will be divided into five different zones. These zones will feature the cubes arranged as government buildings, walls of text, a "crystalline cave," forest, and spherical shells.
Dupont Underground decided on the design in partnership with The National Building Museum and The Philips Collection with their first major design competition, dubbed Re-Ball! New York-based firm Hou de Sousa, made up of Jia Min Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa, won the contest with their proposal, Raise/Raze. On the Hou de Sousa website, they describe the exhibit as similar to a massive sandbox, a life-sized Lego set, or a real-world version of the video game Minecraft.
The only way to attend the exhibition is to make reservations in advance. To do so, visitors have to make $25 contributions to Dupont Underground's Indiegogo campaign. The goal of the campaign is $100,000 with an end date on April 1. So far, over $16,500 have been raised.
The balls in the installation were taken from the National Building Museum's 2015 summer installation, The BEACH, designed by New York-based firm Snarkitecture.
What Dupont Underground may become after the exhibit is still up in the air. Will it become a winery? Will it become the nation's first underground hotel? It's still unknown. For now, you can check out all of the proposals here.
• Re-Ball! [Official Website]
• Hou de Sousa [Official Website]
• RE-BALL! The Dupont Underground's Debut Event [Indiegogo]
• From The Beach To Blocks: Dupont Underground Announces Re-Ball! Winner [DCist]