The Astana Columns, a continuation of the Subdivided Columns project, are a commission for the Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. They were installed in Astana, and subsequently at the Artistes et Robots exhibition at Grand Palais in Paris.
These columns, with three-fold rotational symmetry, are made of 5000 sheets each of 0.6mm greyboard. They are fabricated using a new high-speed serial digital cutting and creasing machine. The extraordinarily thin sheets give the columns a soft and supple texture. The high pliability of these sheets also adds a degree of deformation to the columns, as cantilevered details are pulled downwards.
Standing amidst the Astana Columns, visitors are struck by an unusual richness of detail that is at times disorientating and overwhelming. Although designed entirely autonomously by the computer program, the columns evoke analogies in multiple domains. Yet they resist reductionism and an immediate understanding. Rather, they invite visitors to wander and ponder.