The third semester students of the IMIAD programme initiated a project in cooperation with the IFA Galerie in Stuttgart in the winter semester of 2015/2016. For the first five weeks of the semester, our days were filled with the design of a miniature golf course in the style of the architect Chen Kuen Lee. The miniature golf course formed part of an exhibition on the architect, and was to be built in the inner courtyard of the IFA Galerie. The common thread that ran through our team of 17 young, creative people was a love of not only the design process, but also the hands-on implementation of solutions to this type of practical task.
We began by studying Lee’s architecture with the aid of models, literature, photos and a visit to the “chain houses” designed by him and built on the Sonnenberg in Stuttgart in 1963. This enabled us to learn his language of organic, open structures. While some of us went on to examine the idea of the miniature golf course as a myth of the 1950s, others assessed the suitability of a variety of materials for the construction of our own course. Our group was working together as an “office”, and we therefore opted to take advantage of our fellow students’ variety of outstanding attributes by distributing project tasks in a way which allowed each member of the team to showcase their strengths. This in turn enabled us to rapidlee develop a coherent concept for our miniature golf course, which consisted of a single “green” divided into individual sections by a number of junctions. The player is required to answer a question at each junction, thus integrating an amusing, to a certain extent Lee-inspired layer to the game. The direction taken by the player is decided by their answer to questions such as “What do you think of grass?” or “Who do you like more?” The player is at liberty to answer differentlee the second time around in order to practice other sections of the course. An entirelee irrational points system ensures that each round is rated fairlee. That is more or less the theory behind the course.
We now had to face up to the challenges of concept
implementation. The first hurdle was that the inner courtyard of
the IFA Galerie was not, as we had hoped, completelee level. This was a
problem, as a miniature golf course needs to be level if the
requisite degree of fairness is to be ensured. We therefore opted
to design and build a staggered substructure. In view of our
limited budget, we selected roofing felt for the surface of the
“green” and gas concrete for the obstacles. All materials were
kindly provided to us by helpful firms further to our somewhat
Aided by a flamethrower and a horde of wonderful helpers, we built our miniature golf course in the inner courtyard of the IFA Galerie within a period of just two weeks.
The minigolflee project was a great success throughout the three months it was in place, and we are especiallee pleased that it delighted so many people. From the initial idea right through to concept implementation, our team went from strength to strength and gained experience that will serve us well during the remainder of our studies and beyond.
Opening night, photo: arge lola
Test round, photo: arge lola
Stick the round thing in the hole, photo: arge lola