Sculpture 3D printed from natural materials invites sleepovers in Frankfurt
Italian 3D-printing company WASP, in collaboration with artist Alison Knowles, has completed the printing stage of the world’s first 3D-printed livable sculpture. Utilizing WASP’s advanced 3D-printing crane technology, which was behind the TECLA 3D-printed eco-home, the artwork entitled “The House of Dust” will be one of 10 temporary sculptures featured at the Museum of Wiesbaden’s tinyBE : Living in a sculpture exhibition, which will run until late September.
The House of Dust is an evolving artwork that was initiated by Knowles in 1967, when she put a Siemens 4004 computer to work writing its own poem by "working through iterations of verses with words changing from a finite word list." The computer-generated poem was subsequently realized as a physical structure in 1968, first in Chelsea, New York, and later at Cal Arts in Burbank, California.
Knowles has chosen to repurpose her masterpiece by making use of 3D-printing technology to construct a new physical sculpture made from natural materials. The 16-sq-m (172-sq-ft) sculpture will measure 2.5 m (8.2 ft) high and is designed for two occupants to sleep overnight.
The artwork involved 50 hours of printing and 500 lines of machine code, and some 15 km (9.3 miles) or 8 cubic meters (282.5 cu ft) of extruded natural material over 165 layers at 15 mm (0.6 in) thick. That natural material is made up from waste from the agri-food chain and raw earth.
“My sculpture is the most contemporary iteration of The House of Dust,” says artist Alison Knowles. “Generated by a computer as a poem in 1967, it was coded in Fortran IV on a mainframe computer as one of the first computer-generated poems and an early form of artificial intelligence… The building process is an opportunity to realize the structure in an on-site intermedia-action-event. While the poem is printed and read, it meets up with a three-dimensional structure also being printed by computer. The House of Dust has been waiting for this technical breakthrough implied by poem’s focus.”
An additional nine temporary livable sculptures by international artists will also be on display in the Frankfurt metropolitan region during the tinyBE exhibition, which runs until September 26.
Guests have the option of booking either a day or night experience within the sculptures through the tinyBE website. The day experiences can accommodate a maximum of two people per structure from 2 pm to 4 pm, at a ticket price of €166 (~US$195) per couple. The overnight experiences are available from 7 pm to 10 am, costing €364 ($430) per couple.
“The transformation of ways of living and working in a world influenced by globalization, digitization and climate change is one of the central themes of our time,” says WASP. “Sleeping one night inside the The House of Dust sculpture opens the mind to new forms of living.”