Inspired by cell division, Michael Hansmeyer writes algorithms that design outrageously fascinating shapes and forms with millions of facets. No person could draft them by hand, but they’re buildable — and they could revolutionize the way we think of architectural form.
Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural form.
Classical architecture is defined by “orders” — ways to connect a column to a building, to articulate the joining of materials and structural forces. Colloquially, these orders are based on elemental forms: the tree trunk, the plank, the scroll, the leaf. Michael Hansmeyer is adding a new elemental form: the subdivision algorithm. He turns his math and programming skills to making ornate, organic, hyperdetailed columns generated from lines of code and then comped up in cross-sections of cardboard, almost as if they’re being 3D printed.
His latest work with cupolas and domes is even more mesmerizing, like looking deep inside an organic form of near-unbearable complexity.
“His work is composed of sixteen million faces and made from 2,700 layers of cardboard. It is the result of a cutting-edge computational process, and people’s responses to it are just as improbable.” (Laura Alsop, CNN)
TED Blog: Architectural forms as complex as snowflakes? Here’s what they look like up close