Loop_3 – Università di Bologna

Form follows function or is it function follows form?  However you look at it students at the Università di Bologna, along with professor Alessio Erioli, pushed form through mathematics and parametric design software to create curvature as structure and an expressive strategy.  The curvature and systematic relationships between those parts allowed for a self sustaining structure outside of the normative of ornamented skin design.  The installation was showcased at the Architectural Biennale of Thessaloniki.  Check it out after the jump!

SCHOOL: Università di Bologna
PROFESSORS: Alessio Erioli
COURSE: Architectural Biennale of Thessaloniki

Loop_3 from Five Core on Vimeo.

Without mathematics we cannot penetrate deeply into philosophy. Without philosophy we cannot penetrate deeply into mathematics. Without both we cannot penetrate deeply into anything. — Leibniz

Loop_3 is a project conceived and realized by Loop_3 design team, a group of students form Architectural Design 3 course at the Faculty of Engineering, Università di Bologna, for an installation on invitation by the 1st Architectural Biennale of Thessaloniki, “Architecture and the City in South-Eastern Europe” (18.01-26.02 2012).

Mathematics provides an underlying layer for the description of reality’s inner complexity in terms of computation as well as the tools to enhance and intensify research and expression, elegantly and seamlessly linking science, art, economy, philosophy and other disciplines, merging them into force fields of a unified yet topographically differentiated territory. Architects relentlessly explore this territory ever since, using mathematics as a privileged tool for tracing systematic paths as well as enhancing their expressive language.

The installation is a self-standing object that uses mathematical trigonometric functions (explored through parametric design software) as a mean of aesthetic device, exploring a use of rationality in complex shapes that merges user spatial interaction, curvature as a structural and expressive strategy (the voluptuous ripples also strengthen the overall shape) and form as a sorting device to deploy functions (carrying 3D models, showing pictures from various projects as well as a pad to interactively explore design strategies).

Shapes are diagrams of forces. — D’Arcy Thompson

Shape determines functions, and the energetics of functions dictates the optimal structure required — from “The language of shape: The role of curvature in condensed matter,” Hyde and Larsson, 1997

Loop_3 explores the rationality of complex shapes joining spatial interaction, curvature as structural and expressive strategy (the voluptuous ripples give help the overall stability) and shape as sorting system for the deployment of functions (flat parts are intended for 3D prototypes while pictures occupy the most vertical surface parts to facilitate reading).

All installation components are derived from planar elements and collaborate mutually to structural stability, morphological organization and function deployment, creating systemic relations among the various parts differently from traditional structure-skin-ornament linear dependency (the tensioned lycra skin concurs to structural stability while the plywood core morphology comes first from the curvilinear trajectories and then optimizes material use).”

Check out the rest of the project at:

Leave a Reply