Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Future's Bright: A New Way To Paint With Light

While exploring 3D light projections for a recent research & development 
project, I came across a fascinating concept
 that uses light to bring seemingly banal spaces to life. As I have a
 background in photography, I was intrigued by the way this installation demonstrated the way
 you can literally paint a scene with light to reveal aspects of your 
choosing. This gives you control over how a viewer interprets the
 space and, in a sense, you become the director of your own creation.

I have seen a number of similar light projection projects using buildings
 as a canvas, but this is more unusual, more abstract and at a different
 scale; in a way you could say it is more liberated than its predecessors. The input and control from widely available kinetic devices makes me wonder whether such projections will
 become more widespread in the future, grasping public attention and imagination in much the same way as 3D printing, bringing this dynamic 
and exciting art form to the masses. I for one hope so.

Patterns Emerge, by Nature Graphique can be seen online here.

(Written by David Connolly, Assembly Studios' Head of CGI)


Download our Guide "Zero Risk Approach to CGI " 

Designing the Unimaginable

What if architects were liberated from the constraints of their imagination? What would the world be like then? This is the central idea in architect Michael Hansmeyer’s inspiring TED talk, Building Unimaginable Shapes.
Hansmeyer has taken inspiration from nature, specifically the division of cells, to design a process that can then be used to create new and ‘unimaginable’ shapes and structures. The idea is simple: take a cube, and fold it, and fold it, and fold it, sometimes hundreds and thousands of times. The creation of a computer algorithm makes this process, that is both simple, yet impossible for humans to carry out, feasible. The outcome is anything but simple: resulting shapes are so deeply complex that they push the limits of what the human eye can see. Millions of surfaces weave and intersect in organic flourishes, reminiscent of microscopic details of crystalline structures.
An interesting exploration perhaps, but is it anything more than this? Does the natural environment serve humans well? Or is architecture used as a way to control the environment in which we live: a way of making inhospitable natural environments habitable? Perhaps we should be asking ourselves: why is this process useful? What is the benefit in building these deeply complex hitherto unimaginable shapes? As art? As decoration? Simply because we can? Or is it an important stepping-stone to a more autonomous design-process that could eventually be affected by contextual considerations, like an organism that grows and changes in response to its surroundings? Or does the introduction of contextual adaptations just make it another tool in a designer’s toolbox?
The talk certainly raises interesting questions about the limits and applications of the human imagination, but more than this, it showcases some genuinely awe-inspiring architectural forms. The resulting structures are reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic landscape that wouldn’t look out of place in films like Alien or Oblivion.
Could these forms be scaled up into human colonies to meet the needs of overpopulated cities? I’m not sure, but I’m certainly enjoying imagining it!
Building Unimaginable Shapes can be viewed here.

(Written by Richard Conner, Assembly Studios' Managing Director).
What do you think? Share your thoughts below.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Eid Mubarak to the Middle East!

Also called the Feast of Breaking the Fast, Eid is celebrated by Muslims worldwide to mark the end of Ramadan. Our UAE based designer Dina has blessed us with this e-card - So Happy Eid from all at Assembly!