The curatorial team of the fifth edition of the Tallinn Architecture Biennial (TAB), for which ArchDaily is a proud partner, has announced the winner of their installation program “Huts and Habitats”. The winning proposal, Steampunk, designed by SoomeenHahm Design, Igor Pantic and Fologram (UK), was chosen from a shortlist of more than 137 international submissions.
“[Steampunk] consists of a bespoke merging of craft, immersive technologies, and material performance, for the production of dynamic organic forms that surpass building limitations of local precision or of the pure automate,” explained Areti Markopoulo, head of the jury for the installation program. “We are all excited and challenged to follow the emergence of such built work, which integrates lessons from nature and is the outcome of a vital human-machine collaboration.”
The other shortlisted offices included:
- CITA, str.ucture (Denmark/Germany)
- Déborah López, Hadin Charbel, Patrick Donbeck (Thailand)
- Ephemeral Research (Japan/Chile)
- Grimshaw (UK)
- Manuel Jimenez Garcia (UK)
- Rehm, Ishida and Lutz (USA)
- Raul Kalvo (Estonia)
- Plethora Project – Jose Sanchez (USA)
- SET Architects (Italy)
- SomePeople (USA)
- SoomeenHahm Design Ltd (SD), Igor Pantic and Fologram
- SPORTS (USA)
The installation is a hybrid construction, combining CNC-milled and 3D printed pieces with traditional handcraft. The result, an assemblage of steam-bent timber elements, is somehow neither analog nor digital challenging visitors to reassess how they view contemporary design and architecture.
“[Steampunk] challenges the idea of the primitive hut – showing how, by using algorithmic logic, simple raw materials can be turned into a highly complex and inhabitable structure,” said Gilles Retsin, the Installation Programme Curator TAB 2019.
The pavilion’s reference to Laugier’s Primitive Hut is particularly apt, both referring to the uneasy relationship between design tied to nature and design made by humans. The TAB 2019 theme, “The Resurgence of Beauty”, seeks to investigate this relationship (among other things). Asserting that beauty has been ignored in favor of “objectivity”, the biennial will explore what beauty means and can mean in future architecture.
“A fresh interest in a new architectural range of beauties stems from the growing acknowledgment in human’s judgment, and cognitive intuition, and in its significance for creative output, but also for arriving at what people like,” states the TAB curatorial statement. “Artificial Intelligence researchers, opting lately to press on the exploration of Intuitive Artificial Intelligence, as it expands beyond human’s perception, awareness, and decision - making, and augments digital gains.”