Defying Gravity: Hair & Structure

By October 31, 2011blog
Load-in of theatrical equipment at Pier 94

For most participants, the excitement of the Wella International Trend Vision Award 2011 event at Pier 94 took place on the runway – but for some of us, the action was on the roof.

Pier 94 is a wonderful shed, built for the Cunard Lines in 1961 and now used for an exhibition hall, but while its exposed roof trusses make it easy to hang things, they can be delicate if rigged the wrong way. For a spectacular such as Trendvision, careful arrangements are required to make certain that the weight of all the temporary equipment is hung safely.

Load-in of theatrical equipment at Pier 94Load-in of theatrical equipment at Pier 94, with lighting truss and chain motors used to raise & lower in the foreground. Photo by David Grider

Portion of diagram showing exact placement of loads, including circular truss shown at rightPortion of diagram showing exact placement of loads, including circular truss shown at right.

And sometimes, safely hanging things means you have to barter with gravity.

You might, for example, trade for hanging heavier lights by promising gravity that the roof won’t have to carry the snow it was designed for – its October after all, it never snows in October…

Front page of NY Post the day before TrendvisionFront page of NY Post the day before Trendvision.

Until it does. The day before the event, an unprecedented snowstorm pelts NYC in thick wet flakes, as if supernatural forces had taken a sudden in our designs.

Fortunately for us, the deal held, the snow on the roof never getting so thick that we had to deploy our contingencies – and though the weather event had our undivided attention, it must be said: it wasn’t nearly as hair-raising as Wella’s fabulous show.

Wella 2012 Trend Reveal Catwalk, Pier 94, Hair Design by Paul NasrallahWella 2012 Trend Reveal Catwalk, Pier 94, Hair Design by Paul Nasrallah

(Here’s to the fantastic concept & design of Jack Morton, theatrical rigging and equipment by Vegas Rigg LLC, and structural review by Anastos Engineering Associates.)