Design studio SOFTlab, New York, N.Y., invited the collaboration of IBM’s supercomputer Watson to help design a unique installation for the Mobile World Congress recently held in Barcelona, Spain. The installation was suspended from the ceiling and involved attaching more than 3,000 aluminum “petals” that were covered with dichroic film to a network of aluminum cables in an upside-down form reminiscent of Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia.
Using a form-finding method similar to Frei Otto’s use of weighted cables, forming catenary curves upside down to determine point and linear forces, SOFTlab created three funnel-like structures of the petal-clad cable nets. Programmed LED lighting highlighted the dichroic films, and motorized supports of the funnel shapes responded to Mobile World Congress attendees’ Twitter posts related to the event.
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