Parametric Architecture and Rapid Prototypes: THE EMBODIMENTS

THE EMBODIMENTS are six 3d printed objects, representing fragments of interior or exterior organic building skins. I conceived them entirely in the digital space, using a carefully-selected toolset, containing five different computer-aided design techniques: animation, free-form modeling, generative modeling, parametric modeling and rapid prototyping.

Parametric NURBS curve surface3d print_1

THE EMBODIMENTS’ designs arised from my interests which span across the visual arts, design and engineering. Taking these disciplines as a point of departure, I carried out artistic experiments engaging the new technologies. Despite the highly rational character of these technologies, I managed to apply them to a highly intuitive design process, which enabled me to go along creative paths impossible in traditional design.

Parametric mesh triangular 3d print_1

Parametric mesh triangular 3d print_2


+ + +  The shapes of these three material artifacts stem from a dynamic series of creative processes, which I carried out in the digital space. My first creative act in that space was the formation of a cloud of oscillating particles, which were disturbed by the action of five animated forces. The behavior of particles as the time passed was frozen in a series of computer animation frames. Using a spatial arrangement of particles from one of these frames, I constructed a free-flowing, gently undulated surface. I then molded and trimmed this surface by means of intuitive, manual procedures in digital space. In the next creation step, I augmented the surface with ornamental elements, which gave shape to three richly-decorated, ethereal building skins. Finally, these virtual skins were  materialized into tangible physical objects using 3d printing technology […] + + +

Parametric NURBS curve surface3d print_2


+ + +  These three material artifacts also originate from a dynamic process of particle animation, which I carried out in the digital space. This time, however, one of the particle clouds was turned into a surface not through a manual modeling process, but rather a mathematical one. I used a computer algorithm to generate the very first surface outline with a mosaic structure. I then refined this tessellated surface by means of intuitive modeling interventions in digital space. In the next steps of creation, I employed a series of different computer algorithms again, to embed the decorative elements within the surface. These operations gave shape to three ornamental, celestial building skins, which gained a geometric and jagged character. Eventually, I embodied these virtual skins as physical objects through the computer-driven medium of 3d printing […] + + +

I showcased my artifacts in the exhibition THE EMBODIMENTS: Transitions from ethereal digitality to tangible materiality, curated by the international AHA! Art & Science Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden. I immersed each 3d printed object in an intriguing light & shadow environment of its exhibition capsule, which I designed for the needs of showcasing. By looking inside these capsules, the viewers of the exhibition had a unique chance to personally experience the expressive, richly-decorated forms, conceived through a fruitful synergy of human creativity and advanced technology.

AHA A3 embodiments Embodiments exhibition 3d prints AHA schedule updated 2

Embodiments exhibition 3d prints

The Strong Research Environment ‘Architecture in the Making’ at Chalmers Architecture.
AHA Festival organizers, with special thanks to: Peter Christensson, Anna Maria Orru & Andrej Slavik.
A-Workshop at Chalmers Architecture: Peter Lindblom & Tabita Nilsson.
Everyone who gave their inputs to this research & exhibition.


ULTIMAKER: a Quick Leap from Design to Realization

We feel that the 3-D printing technology offers exciting opportunities to Architects, Artists and Product Designers. It enables for an instant verification of the digitally-generated spatial constructs – by producing real-life, tangible objects at short notice.

Thanks to the courtesy of Konrad Klepacki from, it was possible for us to explore the possibilities offered by the ULTIMAKER 3-D Printer, using the FDM printing technology.

We printed ‘the Pixel-Landscape’: a 3-D model generated digitally during the INFO-SOLID Transvizualia 2012 Workshop (for more information, please see this post). The form was printed with the PLA white plastic, on fast speed, in just one-and-a-half hours.

This 3-D print was essential for us as designers, because it enabled us to physically test the architectural qualities of our 3-D formation – its potential for transcending light and its qualities of self-shadowing. This allows us to propose valid solutions in for the full-scale ‘Pixel-Landscape’ Wall Unit, which will be used in interiors for decorational purposes.

Here are some snapshots of the printing process and the final result.

REPRAP: an Open-Source FDM 3-D Printer

MORFOTACTIC ® was very fortunate to take part in Media Lab Gdansk (Poland) Workshop focused on building open-source 3-D printers – the Reprap Prusa type.  During the workshop we assembled, programmed and put into operation two 3-D printers which use the FDM manufacturing technology (Fused Deposition Modeling). This technology is an additive Rapid Prototyping technology, based on extruding thin layers of heated plastic to form 3-D objects. After getting the printers going, we launched 3-D prints of our first test-objects.

Rapid Prototyping aids designers in testing the spatial solutions for 3-D objects. It allows for an instant transformation of digital models into physical objects. The Reprap Open-Source printer can be built by practically anyone – the mechanical and electronic parts are available online. There also is a free internet manual for constructing and operating this printer.

The following photos were taken by Margaret of MORFOTACTIC ®, during the Media Lab Workshop.