Anticipating a near future of increasing material efficiencies, scarcities, and performances this prototype is a tessellated thicket. In this one-to-one scaled installation the boundaries between physical materiality and space-making are blurred where an ephemeral poché of bundled rods defines a series of spaces and passages between them. „Thicket“ also begs a comparison between our artificially contrived one and those found in nature as in: to be lost in a thicket, a kind of labyrinth.
An historical conceit (the 20th century space frame as developed by pioneers like Konrad Wachsmann or Buckminster Fuller) is elaborated upon here as a fully three-dimensionally deployed structural system. In this way a universal application can be materialized locally with steel (stainless steel as displayed here), bamboo, reeds, wood, or paper as readily available. The bundles are self-stabilizing structures that define spaces, can hold a roof, be enclosed/ clad, or contain technical/ mechanical systems and are adaptable/ sizeable as needed. As a prototypical system it is infinitely configurable; the exhibition offers simply one such possibility.
The logic of the prototype is an accumulating one where 2mm x 2.500mm (super thin) rods are gathered and bundled to form a 8x8cm cluster of four rods that add up 25 bundles (a component) that consists of 100 rods, and so on, generating a flexible matrix like a mosaic. The installation is made up out of 40 of these „components“.
The individual part, the 2mm rod, is CNC bent in order to allow them to configure and combine with like (identical) rods. This is an existing ready-made technology to produce every-day objects like wire coat hangers. The individual rods are fastened together by off-the-shelf „Zip Ties“ that offer quick and precise assembly. The tessellations produced by the bending process are manipulated to provide structural stability in relationship to visual transparency hence the blur-like visual effect of the construction. The stainless steel finish enhances the reflection of light further lightening the elements and effect.
The thicket radicalizes the idea of minimal material expenditure to combine with maximum spatial and volumetric effect. It is a research example of a new idea for a building block that is both latent and suggestive of endless possible configurations speculating on spaces where we might live and work.
Architects — Barkow Leibinger, Berlin Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger
Project Architect — Gustav Düsing
Exhibition HOW SOON IS NOW
Judin Gallery, Berlin
Sept. 13th - October 15th 2014
© Ina Reinecke/Barkow Leibinger