Magic Circle Symposium

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3D print, 3D printing on textiles, 4D print, Active materials, architecture, digital fabrication, exhibition, Matters of Activity, performative facades, Physical form-finding, Programming Materials, rapid prototyping, research, scaling nature, self-shaping textiles, textile facade, textiles, Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin

The “Magic Circle” symposium is carried out by Forschungskreis of the Weißensee Kunsthochschule berlin (khb) in cooperation with Matters of Activity, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Jörg Petruschat. It aims to further develop the exchange between the knowledge cultures of the natural sciences, engineering and humanities and research activities in design and the arts. For this purpose, experts from different disciplines are invited to the project presentations. They intend to provoke new perspectives and open up opportunities for cooperation. Methods of performative research are also up for discussion.

The online symposium is interactively linked with the 12 research contributions that are being exhibited at the same time in the khb’s »Kunsthalle«.

Online Symposium on the 25th of Februar 2021

Exhibition: 24.-26.February 2021

KUNSTHALLE am Hamburger Platz
Gustav-Adolf-Straße 140
13086 Berlin

Register here: hello [​at​] forschungskreis.com

More information about the symposium can be found here http://forschungskreis.com/event/magic-circle/.

Our contribution:

Self-shaping Textiles
Transfer of morphogenetic processes from plants to textiles

(Agata Kycia, Dr. Lorenzo Guiducci)

Nowadays, new digital modeling tools enable generation of complex geometries where materials are shaped by digital fabrication technologies, for example by additive manufacturing. This approach often leads to a discrepancy between the pure form and its materiality. Instead, both textile manufacturing techniques and biomaterials research have shown a multitude of physical surfaces whose three-dimensional shape results from the interplay between material properties and forces acting on them. 


Our project focuses on the creation of meter-scale surface structures by transforming 2D surfaces into 3D wrinkled structures. We are inspired by the morphogenetic processes in plant leaves, where complex three-dimensional surfaces originate from in-plane growth distributions and propose the use of 3D printing (or any other solid deposition method) on pre-stretched textiles as an alternative, material based form-finding technique. Although the formation processes are different in both cases (leaves fold due to growth process and textiles due to shrinkage), we replace growth with elasticity-inhomogeneity in the material, as the three-dimensional transformation is based on the same principle.


We deposit flexible polymeric material in the form of line bundles and discover a variety of wavy shapes that occur once the fabric tension is released.  Our work is an exploration on geometry and materiality serving as design drivers for the creation of three-dimensional textile surfaces. Indeed, these textiles exhibit a variety of optical and elastic properties promoting numerous visual and tactile sensations on the spectator. The effects of gravity or tensioning can further contribute to the complex appearance which changes drastically depending on the staging conditions such as lighting or hanging. We highlight such multifaceted character by placing these surfaces next to their bulk fully plastic 3D printed replicas. This juxtaposition is meant to provoke the visitors by challenging their perception of both models, leaving them to contrast, compare and wonder, whether there is –or maybe not- much more than shape to these textiles. 

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