"As Autumn Leaves" (AAL) is a spatial installation designed and built by students of the Laboratory for Computational Design (LCD) for Beijing's 2013 Design Week. Located in a historic hutong district in Beijing, AAL highlights the existing entrance to Dashilar Factory where emerging creatives exhibit their design. The concept is based on ephermerality of nature. As temperatures change, autumn turns to winter, and trees shed their leaves, AAL recalls the passage of time through changing seasons.
Design / Build
Students began by studying geometric growth patterns and geometries related to natural logics and materials. Tutors encouraged students to investigate variation and adaptability within their systems. AAL used parametric design tools that not only define systemic and formal languages but catalog and locate components for ease of assembly. Individual components were digitally fabricated using laser cut acrylic and pre-assembled into ‘families’, then aggregated on site. Tensioning of the acrylic ‘Leaves’ through bending, inherent to the material, solidified structural integrity. Designers used physics based modeling programs to generate and evaluate wind and gravitational forces in their installations. By hybridizing material and spatial research with advanced structural calculations AAL float above, around, and through existing spaces.
LCD co-founder and tutor Daniel Gillen emphasizes that at LCD "we understand the complexity and the public's curiosity in computational design. With this in mind, we attempt to create work that utilize these methodologies, while rooting design in the emotive and ephemeral. By evoking memories and emotions, the experience is far more important than the image."
Although assembled by LCD tutors and students in just 6 hours, dismantling and responsible re-use took top priority, distributing "leaves" to students and professionals for re-appropriation and future projects.
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