Design and the Elastic Mind

Benjamin Aranda, Chris Lasch, Clay Coffey, Kamau Amu Patton, and Ron Rosenman of Aranda/Lasch
Matthew L. Scullin of Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Rules of Six. 2007

Aranda/Lasch and Matthew L. Scullin. Rules of Six. 2007

Benjamin Aranda, Chris Lasch, Clay Coffey, Kamau Amu Patton, and Ron Rosenman
Aranda/Lasch
Matthew L. Scullin
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Rules of Six. 2007 Processing and Rhino3D software; panels: high-density foam and hydrocal. Manufactured by Situ Studio, USA (2008). Commissioned by MoMA for Design and the Elastic Mind. Additional support by the Product-Architecture Lab at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

PAOLA ANTONELLI: One of the most dreamy aspects of the promise of nanofacture and nanotechnology for designers is the idea that they will be able to grow objects, or to give objects a first push and then objects by themselves, materialize into, and even change and mutate and morph into different functions, and different forms.

This work of Aranda Lasch is an attempt to learn from the structures and from the systems and the movements of nanophysics, in order to bring some of these lessons to architecture or design.

Here we have four big panels that almost are flush with the wall. And out of these four panels grow some strange excretions that are almost like mushrooms but they're too geometric to look like mushrooms. And you can tell that there's a law behind them, that there's a law that regulates them.

If you want to understand that law, at least visually, at least instinctually, look at the computer. You will see there the mathematical algorithm, the recipe, the leavening that is at the basis of this growth, developing itself, and just showing its own DNA in a way.

Peter Galison is a professor of history, philosophy and physics at Harvard, and a pioneer of nanotechnology:

PETER GALISON: And, one of the things that's interesting is that all of these different domains, whether people are studying life and living objects, or whether they're chemists synthesizing new materials, or whether they're physicists interested in mass producing these tiny objects, everybody wants to be able to find algorithms.

One of the things Aranda and Lasch are interested in is this process of repeating algorithms rules that can be repeated over and over again, and generate things of greater complexity and scale than anything that we could build, if we were trying to make it in a one-off way.

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