The Hayam embodies the spirit of Islamic geometry: intricately interwoven patterns and repeating themes that speak of infinity. Geometry is the language of the universe; in the very small the infinite can be found.
Physical Description | Erupting flowers of perforated plywood seamlessly joined together to form a beautiful curvilinear structure. Reminiscent of muqarnas and moucharaby but stripped back to the pure essential fretwork and form, leaving behind only what is necessary. Enamels, glazes and precious metals are replaced by the gold of scattered light filtering through the delicate tracery of the screen, elevating the spirit. The treasures are not material things; they are spiritual. A place of illumination, intended for contemplation.
Emerging from a study into the geometry of Islamic art the pavilion references motifs and arabesques traditionally found in mosques and other sacred places though in itself the Hayam has ties to no religion; it transcends time and space, language and culture.
Interactivity | The structure provides a refuge from the heat of the sun and an intimate spiritual place for people to gather and rest. During the night the four pillars illuminate like a giant lantern with gas fires and the flames can be seen dancing behind the filigree patterns. The gas fires heat the area during the cold night so the space continues to function as a comfortable retreat.
Near Unison, my project exploring harmonographic traces is currently being shown at Kinetica Art Fair. The exhibition is in Ambika P3, the exhibition space attached to the University of Westminster on Marylebone Road. For more information on the exhibition, and details about tickets and opening times please visit the Kinetica Art Fair website.
The exhibit features a prototype of the interactive harmonograph swings that could form part of the larger installation proposed for Burning Man Festival, along with casts of the harmonographic traces left in sand, and photographic work documenting the process.
“The 5th Kinetica Art Fair returns February 28th – March 3rd 2013 at Ambika P3, as one of London’s annual landmark art exhibitions and a permanent ﬁxture in the Art Fair calendar, renowned as the UK’s only art fair dedicated to kinetic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and new media art.
Kinetica is hosting the work of over 45 galleries and art organisations nationally and internationally, with representatives from UK, France, Russia, USA, Poland, Holland, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Indonesia and Japan, collectively showing over 400 works of art.
A huge interactive light sculpture from Dutch artist Titia Ex will greet visitors as they enter the impressive Ambika P3 venue, and giant 3D sculptures from Holotronica will hover above the main space of the Fair. Other highlights include an exoskeleton hybrid of mananimal-machine by Christiann Zwanniken; a giant three dimensional zoetrope by Greg Barsamian; and a life-size ‘Galloping Horse’ made of light by Remi Brun”
‘Shipwreck’; a plywood pavilion beached upon the sands of the Black Rock Desert by the retreating Quinn River. A standing edifice of the primal force of the elements, abandoned in a remote location with a lost past, with stories to tell. A site of exploration and discovery, slowly a microcosm is born with the wreck as its host. Gone are the fanciful images of trunks of gold and silver, the rewards of this stranded vessel are immaterial. A habitat that can support life; create a new history and purpose for itself, offering those whom choose to accept it a place of calm and rest as it diffuses the currents of the prevailing winds that pound it and provides shelter from the intensity of the sun’s rays. Interactive on several levels, ‘Shipwreck’ stands as a piece of event architecture; a spatial construct where movement around it is transformational. Whilst it offers a temporary reprieve from the elements, it is ultimately a place to gather, encouraging intimate social interaction between new and old friends.
Visually, the main structure is composed of two concave forms – the cave (of the earth) and the hammock (of the sky), each serving a different purpose. Whilst this duality offers a counterpoint between earth and sky, the pavilion remains one structure, one visual entity. It stands somewhere between the realms of both sculpture and architecture – a spatial construct where movement through, and around, it is transformational and social gathering is encouraged, resulting in intimate social interaction.
The principal structure is composed of multiple steam bent plywood strips, each perforated with a predetermined pattern of circular holes composed in a wave formation. The perforations serve to allow patterns to be cast on the playa floor, both throughout the day as the sun tracks around the pavilion and at night when the structure is illuminated. The guy wires offered a further design opportunity to incorporate a sail, an additional reference to the shipwreck concept. The fabric sail would provide shade and a degree of protection from the prevailing winds to those occupying the hammock structure.
During the festival, I propose two different, independent lighting systems, both using battery powered LEDs. The first echoes the shipwreck narrative of the proposal, using two ships lanterns, illuminated using yellow hue LEDs. The lanterns would be easily detachable during strong winds. The second system would use an array of multicoloured LED uplighters, illuminating the cave with an underwater wash of blue/green light and the hammock a glow inspired by the colours of a sunset.
NEAR UNISON is an installation that allows participants to visualize the harmonic relationships between them. Pairs of sit-on pendulum swings create several large scale harmonographs that scratch drawings onto the surface of the Black Rock Playa. The structure that holds these harmonographs is itself a physical representation of a harmonographic form that can be seen from a distance across the Black Rock Playa.
The harmonograph was a 19th century machine that was invented to explore the geometry of sine waves. It was soon developed into a popular parlour room toy that was capable of producing beautiful and delicate drawings simply by mapping the relationship between two swinging pendulums. By changing the lengths of the pendulums, their wavelength and oscillating frequency are changed. When the ratio of these two frequencies is something complex like 35:73, there is no discernible pattern, but as soon as it hits a simple ratio such as 3:5 or 2:3 a clear pattern emerges. The relationship between visual harmony and mathematical ratio is exactly the same those found in musical harmonies: the ratios that produce beautiful drawings are the same as produce harmonious musical chords.
The title ‘NEAR UNISON’ is derived from the set of patterns that occur when the ratio of the two pendulums is very close to 1:1, as will occur when people of a similar weight are using the interactive harmonograph. It is expected that the patterns produced by these interactive harmonographs will describe, in an abstracted manner, the similarity of all human beings, while emphasizing the subtle differences between individuals.
The overall form of the structure is also derived from a 3D harmonographic surface with a ratio that is in this ‘near unison’ region. A plywood structure supports pipes that trace the harmonographic lines through space to create a delicately curved sculptural form that sits directly on the Playa. Suspended from this structure are a series of connected pendulums that participants are able to ride like swings. When they are are used, these pendulums trace harmonographic patterns onto the surface of Playa. The drawings that are created will map the interaction between pairs of participants.
A series of long exposure photographs of a light on the end of a freely oscillating pendulum.
The pendulum’s centre of gravity is slightly off-centre, meaning that the x and y components of its movement oscillate at very slightly different frequencies; the harmonic relationship between these frequencies causes remains constant as the amplitude decreases due to friction between the pendulum and the air.
This set up is the most simple form of a harmonograph.
‘Tired of life in the shadows’ arises from a quote from a resident of Rattenberg, the ‘glass town’ of Tirol, Austria. For 3 months every year the town is shadowed by the mountain it takes it’s name from, leaving it depressing and empty. This phenomenon has reached such a level that the town’s residents are struggling with as many as 1 in 5 estimated to be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). As Austria’s smallest town (as few as 450 residents), it’s once booming economy focusing on the production of fine glass and crystal is now heavily reliant on the tourism the industry brings to the area. With the lack of sunlight in the winter months, tourism plummets to almost zero and growing emigration of the residents is only making situation worse.
My proposal seeks to rejuvenate the town, providing a public space for the residents, linking the old town with the railway station and showing off the town’s famous glass works. The proposal covers the dark mountainside in small heliostat mirrors bouncing light into the public spaces below and lighting up the dark shadowy mountain above. Mirror arrays across the skin of the predominantly glass structure of a main public building, are free to move in the wind and rain and direct ever changing light throughout the spaces. Residents and tourists alike are provided a park space wrapping around an open glassblowing workshop showcasing the industry at the heart of the local community, also situated immediately adjacent to the railway and toursit car parks. The key to the proposal is the ever changing qualities of direct sunlight, aided by the refraction and movement of light found in glass and water, as a focus to improve the health and wellbeing of the people reinforcing Rattenberg’s reputation as a cultural and glass manufacturing centre in the region.
The Third & The Seventh is a beautiful, fully CG animated film made by Alex Roman that, in his own words, “tries to illustrate architecture art across a photographic point of view where main subjects
are already-built spaces. Sometimes in an abstract way. Sometimes surreal.”
Many of you will already have seen the film as it was published roughly two years ago now but for those that haven’t it is brilliant and should be watched full-screen in HD if you can. I would also encourage everyone to watch the making of video and other work Alex Roman has published on Vimeo – (click on the vimeo button in the film player)