A forthcoming exhibition at the Appel Gallery in Berlin presents the new work of designer Hermann August Weizenegger. Inspired by stratified rock, the Digital Couture work presents varied objects designed with rapid prototyping and traditional ‘turning’. The Erosio chair above is made of 900 sheets of paper that are added on top of each other to form a solid shape (with the help of four metal rods). The layers calculated on the computer which form the outer shape of the chair are threaded onto the round rods in an additive process. As they’re not fixed, the paper can be gently moved and the shape modified. Weizenegger’s site says about the work:
Digital Couture is the name given a concept for an interdisciplinary project in which designers, craftsmen and programmer have all been artistically active – relying in the process on data-based processes. The project generates works that can be shifted from the design context into the sphere of art. The works reveal themselves to the observer through their media qualities as a hybrid that balances delicately between design object and sculpture. The individual work on show here, and its shape as a figurine references the absence of the real body, is a composite of pieces made analogously by craftsmen and parts created using digital manufacturing processes.
The illuminated tip of the figurine points beyond its function as a luminaire. The couturier’s artistry and skills go into this work as does the data-based computation of strata such as is commonly associated with geological/tectonic phenomena. As in the latter, starting with the measurement of the body by digital instruments, individual adjustments are then possible along the body’s outline and this can be considered a reference to the skilful hands of the couturier at work. The measurement of the figure (which in the classic method is adjusted and molded by modeling the muslin on the dress form) can now be abandoned in favor of a laser process that reads the contours of a dress onscreen and then models it.
Each dress is thus imbued with a sculptural feel. The subsequent assembly of the individual parts to form a composition is reminiscent of the arduous handiwork performed by the “petites mains” down through the centuries in Paris studios where the figurines and models were originally made.
Other exhibits include a cloud lamp, a dummy and a dress.
Appel Design Gallery, Torstrasse 114, 10119 Berlin – September 19 to 10 October 10