Art from code - Generator.x
Generator.x is a conference and exhibition examining the current role of software and generative strategies in art and design. [Read more...]
 
Tag: Comp. architecture
 

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Generator.x 3.0: From Code to Atoms (slideshow of “gx30″ tag on Flickr)

Generator.x 3.0: From Code to Atoms
Feb 18-26, 2012 at iMal, Brussels
http://www.imal.org/en/activity/generatorx3

The Generator.x 3.0: From Code to Atoms workshop at iMAL, Brussels culminated last Friday in an exhibition of works created during the week. As expected there is a wide range of works and expressions, from Makerbot’ted data sculptures (Frederik Vanhoutte, Andrej Boleslavsky, Katerina Konstantopoulos + Erato Choli) to distorted 3D scanned objects (Matthew Plummer-Fernandez) and parametric paper folding (Julien Deswaef).

For a complete overview of the workshop and its results, take a look at the Flickr tag “GX30″ which currently covers over 1000 uploads. Another important resource is iMAL’s wiki site Wikimal, which includes source code and tutorials published in connection with the workshop. Some participants have also published their own source code, such as Corneel Cannaert’s release of his Processing code to directly output G-code for Makerbot control.

In conclusion: Like Generator.x 2.0 before it, Generator.x 3.0 proved that the combination of generative strategies with digital fabrication continues to be a fruitful field for creative inquiry. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what is made possible by applying parametric modeling and data-driven processes to the imagining of objects and spatial structures.

Again, we’d like to thank iMAL for the invitation to collaborate on this project, which would not have been possible without the infrastructure and know-how that iMAL provided. But most importantly we’d like to thank all the workshop participants for getting in a room together and sharing of their experience. One of the real privileges of the Generator.x workshops on digital fabrication has been to bring artists, architects and designers together to see what can be learnt by juxtaposing their various fields of knowledge.

The people of Generator.x 3.0:

iMAL: Yves Bernard, Yannick Antoine, Marie-Laure Delaby and Greg Alveolis.

Workshop participants: Stéphane Perraud, Corneel Cannaerts BE, Hans Verhaegen, Jan Vantomme, Bert Balcaen + Ingrid Stojnic, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Frederik Vanhoutte, Julien Deswaef, Katerina Konstantopoulos + Erato Choli, Frederik De Bleser + Lieven Menschaert, Jihyun Kim, Korea, Andrej Boleslavsky and Andreas Kahler.

Workshop coordinator: Marius Watz.

 
abstrakt Abstrakt: SOFTlab

SOFTlab: (n)arcissus, 2010
Site-specific installation, laser cut mylar & acrylic

“(n)arcissus” is a site-specific spatial intervention in the stairwell of the Frankfurter Kunstverein, an artificial skin that drops down through the vertical space using gravity as a principle. By designing the form as a parametric model SOFTlab are able to manipulate the formal qualities of the final output while simultaneously optimizing it for physical construction. Their script breaks the surface down into individual surfaces for laser cutting, producing the unique modules needed to produce the larger structure.

Digital tools are not new to the field of architecture, but the last few years have seen an explosion in the use of generative systems combined with digital manufacturing processes. This new style of computational architecture explores the creation of complex forms based on parametric processes, giving rise to a new range of architectural expression while eliminating the economy of mass-produced form. Positioned at the heart of this movement, SOFTlab is an emerging architectural practice whose work combines scripted processes with knowledge of materials and principles of construction.

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Update: It’s now clear that the news about the Serero project for the Eiffel Tower is a hoax, as seen on Archinect and NY Times. Thanks to Sarrach for the tip.

Good news for anyone planning to visit that Parisian icon, the Eiffel Tower: A competition for an extension of the tower’s public areas aims to reduce wait times and increase its visitor capacity. And best of all, the winning entry was produced through a generative design process.

Serero Architects have proposed an extension of the top plateau of the tower, using a carbon Kevlar structure capable of carrying the weight of visitors venturing out onto the observation deck to take in the beauty of the French capital. Without any physical modification to the existing structure, it will double the available floor surface.

The generative script was inspired by the cross bracing beams that give the Eiffel Tower its architectural signature, generating 3 interconnected woven forms. The result is a nice combination of the current architectural trend of sub-divided surfaces and the Art Nouveau flourishes of the original tower. Considering that many Parisians hated the tower when it was first built, it will be interesting to see how they react to this revision of their shared heritage.

See Serero Architects for more of their projects involving generative design. Via Madeincalifornia, a great blog about computational architecture.

 
Generator.x 2.0: Disassembled / Theverymany: Aperiodic Vertebrae

Generator.x 2.0: Disassembled / Theverymany: Aperiodic_Vertebrae

Saturday was the last day of the Generator.x 2.0 exhibition at [DAM]Berlin. The occasion was marked with an informal curator talk, followed by Q+A. The 1-month show has had a great reception, proving popular both with the Transmediale crowd and the general art viewing public. While it’s always nice to reach with a community of one’s peers, reaching “regular people” is extra satisfying.

A slightly less enjoyable task was the disassembly of the exhibition in preparation for shipping. It is always bittersweet moment to see an exhibition disassembled and stuck in the back of an old Toyota Corrolla. See the following image to get an impression of this anti-climactic view.

Thankfully, any sadness was alleviated by knowing that 24 hours after being packed into this car, the works arrived safely in Turin, Italy to be part of the SHARE Festival. Bruce Sterling is the guest curator of this year’s festival, the theme of which is “Manufacturing”. After Bruce attended to the opening of Generator.x 2.0 we started discussing the possibility of taking the show to SHARE, a plan that will come to fruition tomorrow when the exhibition re-opens in Turin.

Fabbing workshop at HyperWerk

Works from fabbing workshop at HyperWerk, Basel

A few of the pieces from Berlin won’t be on display in Turin, for instance Aperiodic_Vertebrae by Theverymany aka Marc Fornes and Skylar Tibbits. This ambitious installation turned out to be too complex for the show at [DAM]Berlin, and so we sadly had to display a creative deconstruction of the intricate polygon structure instead of the cantilever bridge-like form it was meant to be. But now there is the exciting news that Skylar and Marc are producing a reworked and more stable version for NODE08 in Frankfurt. We look forward to seeing documentation of it fully built.

A few pieces have been also been added, the results of a fabbing workshop at HyperWerk that followed on the heels of the Berlin workshop and featured some of the same people. Martin Fuchs has provided some intriguing polygon forms in paper and cardboard that he didn’t have time to finish in Berlin, and Leander Herzog has produced a selection of plastic branching structures that point towards an organic exploration of plastic as material.

The big list of Thank you!

As the project now finally winds down, we wish to express our gratitude to everybody who contributed to making Generator.x 2.0 such a great even, in particular the following:

  • Club Transmediale, in particular the curators Jan Rohlf and Oliver Baurhenn who gave the project the green light and supported it wonderfully through its various phases.
  • Anke Eckardt, for being an excellent producer both for the workshop and for the concert evening.
  • [DAM]Berlin and Wolf Lieser, for providing the gallery space and much-needed help in turning a big mess into a presentable exhibition in the space of a single afternoon.
  • The Ballhaus Naunynstrasse and its crew, for providing everything from technical support to much-needed coffee.
  • Lasern and Martin Bauer, for making it possible to have a laser cutter on site, and for helping out with laser know-how.
  • HyperWerk Institute for Postindustrial Design, for fabbing support and for contributing a quota of skilled students.
  • The Office For Contemporary Art Norway for supporting the project financially.
  • Bruce Sterling and Luca Barbeni of the SHARE Festival, for taking the show to Italy and showing it to a new audience.

Finally, we wish to thank all the participants for their enthusiasm and generous sharing of skills during the workshop. It was a pleasure to work with you. We can only hope that Generator.x 2.0 will result in new networks being formed, with interesting projects as a result.

 

A post on the excellent Interactive Architecture blog reminds us that John Frazer’s classic book An Evolutionary Architecture" is downloadable as a PDF. Originally published in 1995 and now out of print, the book gives a fascinating history of experiments in computational architecture going back to the 1960’s. Frazer’s main interest is in the use of biological models in architecture, applying classic Alife models like cellular automata and genetic programming to spatial problems.

Given its age and that it was already a retrospective account when it was released, the historical perspective is one of the best aspects of the book. But this also means that many of the concepts are presented in a somewhat outdated way. Frazer’s approach to architecture is rather dry and academic, and his text can tend towards the bombastic. Still, the way he combines 1960’s utopian belief in systems with modern technology gives food for thought.

(In all modesty, there was a Generator.x post about the book all the way back in 2005.)