Hylozoic Ground goes to Venice

24 Jun

Hylozoic Ground, by Philip Beesley and his team, is a collection of works that explore a new kind of architecture, one that is characterised by lightness, flexibility and sensitivity, literally. The installations are made of thin transparent or translucent polymer arranged into delicate webs and appendages that not only respond to the immediate surrounding (i.e. to your presence, or moisture in the air) but also communicate this response to each other over its network, so that each stimulus response ripples out from the stimulus location. In other words, the Waterloo based architect is trying to make architecture more like a living thing, and already he has created somehing that represents a living architecture.

Videos and more images and the rest.

The motion and actuated responses to motion and presence will draw in the crowds to Hylozoic Ground, but the more interesting and important developments are happening in little flask/glands suspended in the work, which are testing two functions that will break apart our ancient/modern architecture. The first is digestion or the intake of material from the environment via a rudimentary digestive tract. The second is growth via a flask of protocells, which are chemical, abiotic constructs that exhibit some of the qualities of life: they can intake material and create a shell around themselves, they can move, react to stimulus and most importantly they can reproduce themselves.

These two experiments could lead to the development of self repairing materials by solving some of the major obstacles in the material science, the problems of transporting material to a location, and of organizing the material once it’s at the location. This means 3D printing writ large, not limited by the size of the machine or by the number of jets. I get more and more excited about the implications.

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