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Spiroplasm

The summer studio project combined the two teaching areas of Experimental Design and Material & Technology. This studio was supported by various lectures and presentations by external guests, which offered new input and inspiration.
The goal of the project was to create a large-scale installation out of roof battens in a limited space. A major challenge was the compatibility of online and face-to-face teaching. Another difficulty was the choice of a final concept from the numerous drafts in our group of students. An important aspect here was the restriction in the material, we had 5 metre long roof battens at our disposal and had to keep them as intact as possible. You can see here which concept we have chosen and how we have managed to turn Hybrid Seminar into a real installation on campus:

Research

We had started to look at existing wooden installations to get a first impression of what was possible. The research results were initially very extensive and varied, from installations made of roof battens, wooden connections, artistic works, from nature-inspired structures to the architectural, everything was present.

After our research, we started building the first prototypes. Most of the models were made from toothpicks and shashlik sticks. These models helped us to get a feeling of what is possible. From the meetings and intermediate presentations, it turned out that the stylistic idiom was very different.

Conceptualisation

Thus, numerous concept ideas and intentions of the project were created, e.g. focus on light & shadow, storytelling of the installation, usability of the installation as a meeting place.

All this happened in smaller internal presentations to find out about common interests in the installation.

In the end, one team and design managed to combine numerous points, which is why we decided on this concept all together.

Final concept

An important factor that this concept takes into account is the problem that we only had a limited space available with further restrictions, such as considering escape routes.

The final concept manages to „soak in“ the viewer, you are drawn in and want to go in without knowing what is waiting for you - it is a room-within-a-room experience.

Development stage

After four weeks of active design and decision-making, the concept had finally been defined and was only about to be realised.

We had 270 5 meter wooden roof battens at our disposal, which now had to be sawn, angled, joined and glued according to the design specifications, and the composite pieces had to be produced.

Fortunately, the work in the wood workshop progressed quite quickly, as we were able to work independently of the weather. Some of us got an introduction to various machines and worked in a workshop for the first time.

Unfortunately, we were dependent on the weather when connecting the individual parts to form the frames. Looking for a suitable place where we could glue under protection, we found the Mamorsaal. The production process was characterised by rain, carrying, dragging, from place to place across the campus, which always took up a lot of time.

Before the construction, the question then had to be clarified: coloured or just treat? As a group, we decided for time and design reasons to only treat the wood in order to preserve the characteristics of the material and to make the construction more weather-resistant. Furthermore, at the beginning of the project there was a requirement to preserve the battens as far as possible with coloured battens, if this could not be guaranteed.

Construction phase

One week before the planned completion, we could finally start with the construction. We started on Saturday 10 July, as sunshine was forecast for that day. A ray of hope for us after the rainy days.

For the construction, a scaffold was organised, as many of the frames were very high.

The construction was completed with many people, to hold, connect with nails etc. so that safety and stability were guaranteed.

Final conclusion

In the process of the project, it became clear that it is difficult to combine face-to-face and online teaching, as the object was perceived very differently by the various groups.

Which was a bit difficult at the beginning but turned out to be very interesting. For some it was like a project, similar to others that were implemented, and for some it was rather complex or had a completely different meaning. Therefore, two very different films were made, which portrayed these different perceptions very individually, artistically and well. Especially for a design project, these two worlds of perception are very interesting and important, which only makes this project stand out even more. Everyone was able to find his or her task in this project and try it out.