Students couldn’t help but notice the huge blanket fort sitting the middle of campus, next to the Spencer W. Kimball Tower Tuesday afternoon.
The guitar music, singing and laughter coming from the fort were all results of the social project that Joshua Flores and Natalie Harris were doing as part of their sculpture 104 class.
Flores, a student from Austin, Texas explained a little bit more about the project.
“It’s relationship art” Flores said. “We’re supposed to get people to put away electronics and sit around relate and interact with each other more than they normally would.”
Which is exactly what was going on in the fort. Several students were sitting on cushions on the ground laughing and getting to know each other. Flores and Harris had even thought ahead and brought a mini stove with them and were heating up water and making apple cider or ‘peace cider’ to pass around to the students that stopped at the fort.
Harris, from Idaho Falls, Idaho talked about why they they decided to use a fort as the outlet for their project.
“We just thought making a blanket fort would be a really good way to get students’ attention and get them to stop and appreciate life for a second,” Harris said. “We got the idea from community. It all came together nicely and we’ve kept it up longer than we thought we would”
Even amid the cold and rainy weather of Tuesday afternoon, the two mentioned the possibility of setting up the fort again.
“A lot of people keep asking us if we can set it up again later” Flores said. “So maybe we’ll leave some stuff around and set it up again during finals week if the weather gets nicer.”
Elizabeth Cole, a student from San Antonio Texas talked about what it was that she liked about the giant blanket fort.
“I think this is really a unique idea,” Cole said. “I think it’s very cozy and I really like the feel of the a blanket fort, it’s very reminiscent of childhood. It’s very creative and it’s nice to see people pausing to have moments that aren’t in and of the world.”
People were walking up and joining them all day. The sight of a huge tent made out of blankets was next to impossible to ignore. And the project was a success. The fort caused students to make the decision to take some time out of their day to just sit and talk with another and meet and reconnect with people.
“There’s a lot of people that meet in the fort and they start talking not knowing each other and then they realize they have a common friend or a coworker or something,” Flores said. “It’s been pretty crazy. I’ve run into 5 or 6 people that I haven’t seen or a couple of years. So the project seems to be working out great.”