Michael Hansmeyer
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Arabesque Wall
with Benjamin Dillenburger

Arabesque Wall is a massive 3D printed wall with ornamental details at the scale of millimeters. It plays with the aniconic, geometric tradition of arabesque ornaments by creating intricate constellations that are at once figurative and abstract. The Arabesque Wall’s rhythmic, interwoven curve elicit viewers’ individual interpretations and engage viewers to approach it, touch it and to explore. Each perspective offers new impressions.

Just as with arabesque ornaments, the compositional principles of the Arabesque Wall are both geometric and mathematical. They are based on an iterative tiling and division of surfaces. An algorithm folds a single surface over and over again until a structure composed of millions of microscopic facets emerges. Shifting the design process to this abstract level has a dramatic impact, creating a complexity and richness of detail that would otherwise be almost impossible for a designer to specify or conceive of.

In uniquely employing 3D printing for its fabrication, the Arabesque Wall heralds a highly differentiated and spatially complex architecture in which ornament and formal expression cease to be a luxury. Using computational design and digital fabrication, even the most lavish and one-of-a-kind architecture can now be materialized with relative ease. The Arabesque Wall thus escapes the paradigms of rationalization and standardization and celebrates architecture as a precious cultural component of our environment.

Initial studies