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Neo-Natur – A space for thought, about and for Nature / ART+COM

Designed and constructed by ART+COM Studios in collaboration with Futurium and Schiel Projekt, ‘Neo-Natur’ (‘Neo-Nature’) is a permanent installation for Berlin’s Futurium exhibition that explores our potential futures from different areas of life––from self-sufficient cities, to the future of work and ideas for more sustainable consumption.

The sculpture symbolises a new understanding of the natural world. Taking into account humanity’s interventions in nature and ‘technologization’ of natural processes, it is an approach that also recognises the inspiring and beneficial principles and systems in nature.

Its generative design, created using Rhino/Grasshopper, is based on a mathematical principle known as Danzer tiling which in turn describes the aperiodic structure of quasicrystals. An interesting feature of quasicrystals is that the golden ratio of nature, the mathematical constant tau, occurs repeatedly. Tau and the circle constant pi are both used in defining the golden ratio, which appears over and over again in natural structures such as plants. Using this tiling model as a basis, relatively few different modules – 16 in the case of ‘Neo-Natur’ – can be used to computationally generate complex, organic-looking structures. Fifteen hundred milled wood elements were used to create ‘Neo-Natur’, and are held together in their complex final form with 4500 specially developed angle connectors.

Above: Rhino Grasshopper Path / Below: Drawings of Neo-Natur
1500 milled elements that make up Neo-Natur

For quick, smooth, and error-free setup of the piece, HoloLens and AR were used. Stuttgart’s ArtEngineering made use of a 3D model of the sculpture for an AR application that rendered the structure visible through a HoloLens during the construction phase––piece by piece and as a whole from different perspectives in the exhibition space. The build team from the Art Department of Studio Babelsberg were able to click through from one panel to the next ensuring the correct elements were joined to their corresponding angle connectors.

Various displays surround the “Neo-Natur” sculpture presenting a variety of approaches to how we can find greater harmony with nature and learn more from the natural world.

Project Page | ART+COM | Schiel Projekt | Futurium

Creadits: ART+COM Studios and Schiel Projektgesellschaft mbH, Volker Zinsmeister, apfel,hübsch berlin (Design), Art Department Studio Babelsberg (Planning, construction, production), ArtEngineering (Engineering design, structural planning, production data, AR programming) and Futurium gGmbH (Client).

The Futurium is located in the immediate vicinity of Berlin Central Station. From there, the Futurium is within walking distance of 300 meters. Find the best route there.

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