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minimally surfacing

daniela bertol copyright Š 2010 spaceink | http://spaceink.net


From Creation to Production

Digital computing offers unprecedented opportunities to the design of manmade forms. The enhancement of human creativity is attained by the logic of programming processes, where computational approaches generate a fluid vocabulary of forms articulated in a complex syntax ---hard to achieve in a non-digital context. Immanuel Kant defines the mathematical sublime as "the mere ability to think which shows a faculty of the mind surpassing every standard of sense." Digitally generated geometries can be certainly associated to the Kantian mathematical sublime: shapes turn inside out and outside in, configurations twist and bend in topological spaces often creating illusionary perceptions. Geometry is not only a creation of the human mind, which can be used to measure and understand the physical world. Nature itself presents geometric arrangements in the majority of forms, as found in physics and biology. As stated by the biologist D'Arcy Thompson "form is a diagram of forces". As design revolves around form and function --- each influenced and defined by the other--geometrical configurations can offer the best design solution. Sometimes the digital exploration of complex geometries not only reaches the aesthetic qualities of the "mathematical sublime" but also defines the optimal design form in terms of structural and functional efficiency. Digital created geometries can further evolve from the virtual world to become a built forms in the physical word. Beside the creation of imaginary geometries, digital methodologies can also be applied to the manufacturing process, using the rapid prototyping technique most appropriate for the designed form. The digitally mastered production of a built-form with a specific function completes the cycle ---from the digitally augmented ideation to the final physical product, from creation to production.

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These thoughts are the main rational for the sculptural functional objects of the collections here presented. Minimally Surfacing expresses a design action inspired by nature and digitally mastered by generative algorithms. The name Minimally Surfacing itself denotes the shapes of the presented objects which are mainly based on minimal surfaces --- one of the most efficient forms in nature. Associative parametric software is used to generate multiple alternative from the same algorithm. Digitally enhanced geometric investigations establish a methodology to achieve both aesthetics and functionality.

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hexagon

From the micro universe of nanotubes to bees honeycombs and geological rock formations, hexagons are one of the most interesting forms in nature. The geometrical properties of triangles and hexagons determine their structural efficiency. All the design products in the hexagon collection are based on the triangulation of minimal surfaces, which are mathematically defined as surfaces with zero mean curvature. Minimal surfaces also present a minimal surface area for boundary conditions. The hexagonal mapping of minimal surfaces ensures the design efficiency in the search for "ideal" forms in design: the doubly ruled surface hyperbolic paraboloid is mostly used.

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hexagon

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hexagon | 18


Inside Out :: Outside In 20

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The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on the empty space (for the axle), that the use of the wheel depends. Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that their use depends. The door and windows are cut out (from the walls) to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within), that its use depends. Therefore, what has a (positive) existence serves for profitable adaptation, and what has not that for (actual) usefulness.

Tao Te Ching The above quote has been most inspiring for the collection Inside Out :: Outside In. The material boundaries between solid and void define the inside and outside --- in any “production” of spaces. Functions become defined and are in turn definers of forms in this dynamic dialectics between the inside and outside spaces. The forms featured in the collection are topological manifolds generated by symmetrical relationships in three-dimensional space. The starting shape is a regular polyhedron which is turned inside-out. resulting in a manifold of genus number equal to the number of vertices of the initial polyhedron. The shapes become vases, where holes are punctured to better Function distributes the arrangement of flowers in vase hemispherical configurations. The material Material Epoxy + Nickel simulation of natural plants is another expression of the inside-out relationship: tecnique SL + Meta; Coating Technique from the inside of the earth, the seeds grow into a plant which expands to the 13.5”x13.5”x13.5’ Dimensions outside, towards the sky.


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Italian born Daniela Bertol ---multidisciplinary artist, author, architectural visionary--- has worked for over two decades on projects integrating science, art, movement and architecture. In 1991 she co-founded the New York based practice space ink as a laboratory for innovations in architecture and design. Daniela is the author of several books on architecture and digital space: Visualizing with CAD (Springer-Verlag, 1994) Designing Digital Space (John Wiley & Sons, 1997) and Geometry, Form, Structure: from Nature to Design (to be published by Bentley Institute Press in September 2010). Her design vision integrates principles of Eastern philosophies and practices with contemporary architectural theories and research, as expressed in her recent project Sky Spirals, a series of places devoted to sustainable design where the shaping of the landscape is based on solar and astronomical alignments. Yoga practitioner and teacher for several years, Daniela uses disciplines and media, often considered disconnected: video and digital design are integrated with nature in bio-art and choreographed movement. Her design work is inspired by Yoga principles, where the connection with the environment, is experienced in the “geometric� relationship between body and surrounding space as an ever-evolving structure.


www.spaceink.net Copyright Š 2010 spaceink

space ink minimally surfacing collection  

Concepts of digitally fabricated objects and functional sculptures, from modular wall assemblies to led lighting