I hope this idea can offer a useful metaphor in a time when physical distance is still a very present theme: we are part of something bigger and of a community, even if we created our contribution alone or together with a very small group. What is a Rainbow Construction Site? It is a workshop, a party and a celebration at the same time, with no age limit. It will be up to the organizer to optimize spaces and materials according to the number and characteristics of the participants, for example by arranging areas where the individual or a couple can work on his piece. Therefore, I suggest you to take cues flexibly from these images, considering that it was part of a pre-Covid public event several years ago.
Each participant (or small group) is given a special shaped piece of white cardboard: a small but very important piece, because finally it will be part of a large whole rainbow. Partecipants are invited to colore their pieces on both sides. As far as type and number of colors, there are endless possibilities. In this case, I chose three colors to keep in the same order (green, yellow, red). Among the available materials: various types of paper and colored surfaces, fabrics, ribbons, tapes, scissors, vinyl glue and brushes.
Now let’s see how to build the basic structure that should be ready before the workshop. Choose the dimensions of the rainbow and put on the floor a big enough sheet of paper (or more sheets joined toghether). Draw the two big arcs with an artisanal compass (a rope with a pencil attached to one hand and the other end fixed to the center of the subtended circumference). Divide the arcs in a number of equal parts with vertical lines (the rainbow in the photofraph is divided in 14 parts, the one in the picture below in 8 parts). Finally, add the vertical “legs” of the structure below the arches: the scheme is ready.
Another solution consists in hanging the big sheet of paper and tracing the outline of a projected image of the structure drawing (previously drawn smaller).
Now you can cut the rainbow parts, trace them on a thick cardboard and cut them again. Finally, draw other parallel curved lines in order to divide three (or more) areas for different colors. The structure is ready for the workshop!
Finally, the organizer will join all the pieces together using transparent tape and leaving between them a distance equivalent to the thickness of the cardboard. In this way, the structure can be folded in many ways, becoming self-supporting or even “flat”, if needed.
I primarily designed this workshop for a public event in a square, where people could freely stop and work for as long as they wanted. But could also be suitable for various collective contexts and celebrations, for example in schools, both with known or unknown people. So new Rainbow Construction Site could be temporarily set in many places around the world… Would you like to try? You are welcome to share your rainbow pictures sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.