Digital Bodies

Digital Bodies

Digital Bodies is a series of objects by the Städelschule Architecture Class "Architecture and Performative Design (APD)" with Guest Professor Mirco Becker. It was first shown at the Städelschule Rundgang February 2014. The work strives to gain insight into form, aesthetics and geometry by digitally altering a 3D scan of the baroque sculpture Maria Immaculata by Matthias Steinl, 1688. The original sculpture resides in the Liebieghaus sculpture collection which kindly supported this project.

The work is developed by digitally correlating quantitative surface analytics with generative pattering strategies. Although each of the 8 pieces peruses its own formal strategy the work has to be seen as a series. This experiment was used to propose a framework for discussing formal strategies in current digital practice. Results were presented at ACADIA 2014, Los Angels.

The result is presented in a series of rapid prototypes and silk-screen prints mesh smoothed and adjusted in resolution. Along with the 3d information a series of images was acquired during the scanning process which were mapped back onto the final mesh. The main interest in the mesh was its richness in formal features such as folds, directions, movement, taut and slack areas, as well as the difference in depicted material like: flesh, hair, cloth.

The specialisation Architecture and Performative Design (APD) of the Städel Architecture Class is build on the premise that the world around us is working in processes. Getting an understanding of processes in general and developing a sensibility to think in procedural relations is the ambition of the programme. It leads towards an approach in design that is centred around the construction of systems which are the mediator and enabler for creating architectural artefacts. This is a shift in what is generally considered intuition. Instead of acting directly on a given design one builds, changes and tweaks a underlaying system that not only delivers an architectural product but along with it a meaningful evaluation of the performance criteria considered. These criteria could range from material, construction, manufacturing to environmental, technological and cultural factors. The performative value of an architectural design is conceived in its potential to orches- trate requirements so they lead to meaningful spatial and feature articulations. The specialisation tries to find answers on how computational techniques as well as physical processes are changing the methodological and strategic make-up of architectural design. This could only be done by embedding projective and analytical loops into the work. 


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Architecture and Performative Design (APD) of the Städel Architecture Class 2014