spatial experimentations

drawing machines to parasitic structures

thomas heatherwick: TED talks

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HEATHERWICK

Thomas Heatherwick’s TED talks showcased this architects studio work, and how he uses organic line structures in order to create builds and designs that have some sort of a soulfulness. He opened his sixteen-minute TED talks lecture highlighting how he saw precedent published architecture to be completely soulless and cold. He wanted to focus on a materiality and soulfulness that was not previously embedded into buildings, but was embedded into other designs such as earrings, ceramic pots and even musical instruments. I guess he looked at these designs, and thought that if these simple, yet intricate designs have a materialistic and soulful quality, why cant buildings? This therefore stemmed his main inspiration for his studio work, as seen in the Seed Cathedral, window displays, a temple built in Japan and all other projects that have been completed by Heatherwick and his studio.

Heatherwick and his studio were commissioned by the UK Government to build the UK Pavillion at the Shang-Hai exhibition. The main goal of the construction was to be placed in the top 5 (as stated by the UK Government). The main goal for the designers was to stand out from the rest, and make a design that impacted the millions of viewers that would see and interact with this space. Heatherwick stated that the easiest and simplest way to do this was to do ‘one thing instead of trying to do everything’. The following further notates their overall intentions- “The theme of the Expo is “Better City, Better Life” and a key client objective is for the UK Pavilion to be one of the five most popular attractions. The studio’s design has three main aims: the first is to be a pavilion whose architecture is a direct manifestation of the content it exhibits; the second is to provide significant public open space in which visitors can relax; the third is to find a simple idea that is strong enough to stand out amidst the busy-ness of the hundreds of competing pavilions.”-Heatherwick StudiosThe concept of this exhibition was the future of cities, and where modernisation would take the cities of the world. The designers looked back into the history of the London as a city, and how they were the first to create a public park, and then later to create the first botanical gardens. The concept of the cathedral then stemmed from this nature, the concept of what these spaces housed- and that is ultimately trees and flowers. They further looked into this concept of peoples interactions with these things, and how each member of the public liked to be in these public spaces, and to be surrounded by these aspects of nature. The designers further questioned this nature, and looked into the concept of the tree of a flower, and looked into its origins- as in how do trees and flowers grow, and I guess, what do they grow from? A seed. Seeds mark the beginning. They thus pushed this concept into the main focus of a public building and the centralised point of a public space. This notion challenged the original nature of the seed, as seeds are never shown to the public, and only the result of them is only showcased. “The Seed Cathedral is a 20-metre high building, constructed from 60,000 transparent 7.5-metre long optical strands, each of which has embedded within its tip a seed. The interior is silent and illuminated only by the daylight that has filtered past each seed through each optical hair”- Heatherwick Studios. The Cathedral focused on light and exposure. The building moved with the wind, thus creating a completely emanate structure. The building was a space, which did not showcase anything in particular, but silence. It allowed the viewing audience to be a spectator of this visual atmospheric and somewhat cool space. The Seed Cathedral was the centre of the allotted space given to Heatherwick and his crew. He challenged the concept of filling his entire allotted space, instead he made this cathedral structure the centralized point, and then allowed the rest of the site to be public space. The one element, which is the cathedral, was the one focus, the standout from the rest of the pack.

The TED talks lecture conducted by Heatherwick was entirely interesting. I was captivated by his designs and innovative nature that he brings to these designs.

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Written by katmcmahon

June 2, 2011 at 11:37 am

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