- Year: 2011
- Material: Neodymium
In the fall of 2010 Joris Laarman Lab was commissioned by the
For several years now we have been following the fascinating developments in Nano technology in general and digital materials in particular that is being pursued atCornell
Digital materials are basically physical molecular building blocks similar to for instance Lego. But in increasingly smaller dimensions it promises to have stunning science fiction like qualities. They can be combined like cells in a living tissue, forming materials with customizable properties. The promise of digital material is that material won’t be static anymore. It will be a matter of time when we can upload a design to an amount of material and it would be assembled, or even better, assemble itself into that design. An object of digital material could be re-assembled over and over again.
Although molecular building blocks rapidly become more intelligent and their resolution higher and higher, parallel to pixels and the development of computer graphics over the years, digital material can be considered still at the stage of early computer games like "Pong”or "
Space invaders”. Our aim in this project is to illustrate the aesthetic and building implications of the increasing resolution of 3D molecular building blocks, parallel to the ever-improving 2D computer graphics.
One of the advantages of digital materials and digital fabrication is that they are not restricted to simple geometric forms dictated by industrial machinery. We created a robotic assembly installation that builds a rather ornamented table based on a digital blueprint starting with an 8-bit rococo form language. Like the evolution of computer game heroes such as super Mario the two other complimenting tables on display become more realistic when its resolution increases.
For the tables we had to use very high tolerance self aligning voxels. When assembled with high performance soluble adhesive they can be composed and de-composed over and over again. In the future one could have one amount of material to create many different designs.
decomposing a voxel composition
We don't consider resulting objects to be the end goal but rather as frozen moments in an ongoing development. By doing such projects we learn a lot about what robots can and can’t do. In a way this installation contributes to our aspiration to develop a very practical, multi purpose, low cost, robotic manufacturing unit that could be operational anywhere in the world. We believe a hybrid form of digital fabrication and local crafts is the future of a more democratic design world and with the help of new technologies we hope in a few years everyone can afford good design that’s locally fabricated for local prices.”
In addition to Digital Matter, we will also showcase Bone Chair, Leaf Table and Ivy climbing installation; also on display areNendo’s Visible Structures and Cabbage Chairs. This exhibit also showcases 148 objects by121 designers drawn from the MoMA’s collection, including pieces from CharlesEames and Eero Saarinen. The exhibit runs June 4through August 21.high.org