Tessa’s Weekly Picks – 3D Printing in Venice

2021-08-20

Tessa Blokland  

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From May 22 to November 21, the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, organized by La Biennale di Venezia and curated by architect and scholar Hashim Sarkis, takes place at several locations in Venice (Italy). Like most events, also this international highlight was cancelled in 2020, but this year – with the ‘normal’ Covid-19 restrictions – it is possible to visit the many exhibitions which centers around the open question ‘How will we live together?‘. I won’t be able to visit the Biennale but thanks to the internet and many reviews online I have found some interesting projects that involve 3D printing. What I find interesting to see is that 3D printing becomes the working method for architectural sized objects which you will see below more and more. And with all the advantages of 3D printing each object looks spectacular!

The first project that involves 3D printing is from Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, who are based in London and founded EcoLogicStudio. The installation Bit.Bio.Bot exists out of three elements: a living cladding containing algae that purify the air, a vertical garden allowing to harvest the algae, and 3D printed crystal glassware pieces (3D printed by Swarovski) from which you can tastes the algae. The idea behind the installation is that the visitors are invited to consider growing algae in their own homes. Algae could purify the air in your house, sequester carbon, gain a sustainable food source, while enjoying a greater connection to nature by cultivating your own algae.

Connectome Architecture is an architectural 3D printed structure by Turkish media artist Refik Anadol. The shape of the 3D printed structure comes from plotted data points that reflect how our brains learn, remember, and experience discrete emotions. It represents the various meanings of perception on the symbiotic relationship between the intersection of architecture, neuroscience, visual arts, and machine learning. What I like about this project that the separate elements in the structure are 3D printed from recycled PET bottles and by using projections the whole atmosphere of the installation changes the space and therefor your experience of the structure. On the website of Anadol you can find more images, so you can see what I mean by this.

Together with Spanish design brand Nagami and Parley, Italian architect Niccolo Casas designed and constructed  a 3D printed installation, called Plasticity. At 3.6 meters high, it is the largest structure ever to be designed with Parley Ocean Plastic and was 3D-printed by innovative Spanish design brand Nagami. The 3d printed installation is part of Resilient Communities, this year’s theme of the Italian Pavilion curated by architect and academic Alessandro Melis, who invited architects to reflect and speculate on radical strategies for resilient communities in a call to take action on climate change. Responding to this brief, Plasticity embodies the expression of a radical vision for a new, eco-innovative architecture.

Magic Queen is a 3D printed soil landscape cared for by a robotic gardener. The idea behind Magic Queen is to have a structure that is able to evolve, decay, and grow during the timespan of the Biennale, according to Daniela Mitterberger and Tiziano Derme, who together form MAEID, with the intention of building a habitat that can restore and nurture itself, redefining the role of living systems within architecture. The 90 tonnes of local soil was 3D printed directly in the Arsenale, one of the main locations at the Biennale, over a three month period and houses different species of plants and mushrooms of the course of the event.

The last project at the Biennale involving 3D printing was well covered in the international press. Straitus is a freestanding 3D printed concrete footbridge and assembled without mortar. The 16-metre-long bridge was built by the computation and design team at Zaha Hadid Architects, known as ZHACODE, in collaboration with the Block Research Group (BRG) at Swiss university ETH Zurich, incremental3D and Holcim. It was constructed from 53 hollow blocks each printed from 500 layers of printed concrete. The result is amazing, I must say!

LEO Lane_Weekly Pick_3D Printing in Venice

Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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