Commonwealth: Testing For.
The Generator.x 2.0 event ended almost two weeks ago, and we are busy trying to catch up with other things. The project was a big success, culminating in the exhibition opening which saw maybe 200 people turn up to look at the strange objects on display. Audiences responded enthusiastically to a show about digital media that did not have a single piece running on electrical power.
While most of the works in the show literally did not exist the week before, there were a few pre-selected pieces by people like Jared Tarbell, Theverymany (Marc Fornes and Skylar Tibbits) and Commonwealth.
An experimental studio straddling the divide between architecture, industrial design and pure research, Commonwealth’s work is marked by an amazing attention to surface as well as structure. Their contribution to Generator.x 2.0 is a prototype for a series of tables. CNC milled in Corian, the two panels feature patterns optimized both for visual detail and material transparency.
The following is their own description of the project (also, see Flickr):
Through the variation of embedded cells, this project explores pattern, tactility, and transparency. The exhibited prototypes are examples of material testing used in the development of a series of tables designed by Commonwealth in 2007.
Where the cells become deeper (and reciprocally the skin spanning each cell becomes thinner,) more light is passed through to the table top surface. As the cells become less deep, the graphic effect on the table surface is darker. A three-axis mill was used to test the process against the material properties of white, semi-transparent Corian, a grainless resin composite. Through minute increments of interconnected cell variation, a graphic gradient is produced.
Flickr: Commonwealth: Generator.x 2.0
Commonwealth vs Kenzo Minami: Closer
Commonwealth’s genius lies in the ability to marry pure form with graphic treatments, to the point where visual elements can’t be separated from the form itself. An excellent example is “Closer”, their collaboration with Kenzo Minami. Their response to Minami’s explosive graphics is a darkly erotic wall tile, its alien topography engraved with omninous visual details. The sheer tactility of these objects belies their origin as digital models, successfully disconnecting them from the world of the virtual.