I cannot say I understand how digital, 3d printing works. I know it has to do with computer algorithms. And I know that an algorithm is a procedure or set of steps that governs an equation. I know this because I had a boyfriend many decades ago who was an engineer – and we would sit at the University on weekends as he typed complex instructions into a computer that would then chip holes in a pattern of 1s and 0s onto a series of cards, that he would finally feed into the reader for mainframe computer. Eventually something would print out the other end – and if just one clip was wrong – back to the keyboard.
Now we can do most of that on a small tablet. We have automated algorithms that govern our every interaction with computers. That encode date and enable us to navigate the internet. That fix our glitches. And, now we can print in three dimensions.
Architects Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger created this incredible 3.2-meter-tall, 16-square-meter room, Gothic room with nothing more than algoritims and a printer. The design, which they call Digital Grotesque, has 260 million surfaces and is the first fully immersive, solid, human-scale, enclosed printed structure that is entirely 3D. And it was printed from sand.
I don’t know how it all works. It’s fantastical and weird, and a bit strange. But I love it and give it welcome. We’ve come a long way since the late seventies and as Hamlet responded to his friend: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”