Saturday, January 10, 2009

TED video

Here's a great video about symmetry and calculus in architecture by Greg Lynn:




This is fun because I've been working to identify the symmetry of form. Trying to find principles that unify form; finding algorithmic structures that reveal symmetry in existing objects. This video talks about breaking down that symmetry and adding variations. By using computational techniques these asymmetries can permeate a building's design at so many levels. (It's also going to be a nightmare to procedurally emulate these buildings, but that's part of the fun eh?)

It also stumbles apon the big long-shot win for procedural form - we're moving into a time when custom, individual form is tenable. The video shows a set of tea cups each created with a random set of curves, but having the same volume as each other cup. Digital fabrication techniques (rapid prototyping tools and CNC lathes) are becoming commonplace for designers, and are starting to move into the home with projects such as reprap. There is even a new website, shapeways, that will cost and rapidly prototype your models (even if they do cost a fair bit). The future problem is fulfilling the demand for unique designs (in the video it's a tea cup set, but it could be a house or pen). Artists just don't have to tools today to design infinitely variable designs, to ensure that we all have the unique object that we desire.

It's a good opportunity to post some photos from the Hunterian museum here in Glasgow, echoing the video's point that when things go wrong we are likely to have increased symmetry.


mutie 3

mutie 1


The expression "life on the edge of chaos" echoes true here - that when something goes wrong in design we fall away from the line between nothing and chaos. That when something went wrong with the development of these creatures the fell towards nothing, symmetry.

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