STEM | product design
STEM is a proposed design for Austin’s hike & bike trail by Lady Bird Lake. It acts as an aesthetic and protective barrier for pedestrians, runners, and cyclists underneath the Lamar Bridge.
STEM is inspired by the Texas native Bulrush (Scirpus Validus). The Bulrush is one of the most valuable food sources for waterfowl and mammals. It is a shoreline plant that grows in clusters and provides excellent shoreline stabilization and protection. The STEM design resembles the rounded, spongy stem-tunnel structure of the Bulrush that allows it to reach several feet in height.
The hexagonal structure uses the least material to create a lattice of cells within a given volume. The hexagon tiles the plane with minimal surface area. This model from nature can be found most commonly in the structure of the beehive, some plant cells, and in bubbles. The shadow patterns created by the hexagonal structure are evocative of water waves and their reflections found along Lady Bird Lake.
Client: The Austin Community
Location: Austin, TX