I’m Sara Hendren. This project, Slope : Intercept, is a networked architecture project, organized around the inclined plane. It’s a material and digital set of works, documenting the material ramps I design, install, and use with others, and gathering ramps of all kinds, everywhere in this online collection: industrial or useless, formal or informal, ancient or new.

The project is a deep genealogy of the inclined plane or ramp, one of Galileo’s “simple machines.” I have designed a set of ramps that are about 3 feet square and perform as a modular set of objects: a low profile bit of geometry designed to nest and stack, to attach side-by-side, to maneuver about with wheels. They form a suite of objects for installation in public space, both as a mode of critical play and critical access.

These ramps are designed for use by two sets of unlikely bedfellows seeking elevations in cities: skateboarders, whose radical leisure tends to be unwelcome in urban centers, and wheelchair users in search of ramps for single-step entrances, a common access problem in cities like Boston and New York.

I’m interested in the ramp as an extended architectural form at the urban scale, but also as a social technology, a nimble and portable tool for both scripted and unscripted uses, one that creates productive uncertainty about which users make use of ramped physics, and for which ends.

You can have a look at my ramp designs, read about the ramp as one of Galileo’s simple machines, or browse the collection.

I write and lecture about this project and my other work. See Abler, or send an email: sarahendren [at] gmail.