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Text: Kim Kaborda

Translation: Emily J. McGuffin

The deconstruction of a complex can open up new perspectives and approaches when the task in hand is to understand an issue, to define a problem, or to seek a solution.

Deconstruction comprises a process of both destruction and creative construction, thus providing opportunities for the analysis and rearrangement of individual parameters. Deconstruction always has a playful aspect about it, so that an unconstrained engagement is possible. In the following we take a look at concepts which utilise the deconstructive process in different ways.


Swan Lake


Based on a generative design concept, Patrik Hübner developed a dynamic corporate design system, using the example of the famous ballet Swan Lake. On an interactive website the user is able to give simple orders by keyboard via a control system similiar to a program language and can animate a dancing avatar in various colours. Then gradually the individual steps, attitudes and gestures of a ballet dancer’s typical poses and movements emerge on the website, overlapping ever more strongly and finally forming innumerable, graphically interwoven designs. Hübner has used this project to call into question the role of the designer in algorithmised design processes, but sees the approach also as an opportunity for financially weaker cultural institutions to acquire a selection of professionally designed advertising materials – possibly even with the involvement of the audience.



Tone Lab


For his examination thesis at Ohio State University Colin Hearon conceived the Tone Lab: a synthesiser which demonstrates the principle of electronic music. In the preparatory stage Hearon closely studied the structure of digital music production, and ended up with notes and effects which he identified as the basic building blocks. He translated these into physical elements which in turn he then applied to a system of four rails and a contact point. Chords can be placed on the rails, on which effects are superimposed via the contact point. Through the structural set-up the user can experience, what difference an arpeggiator, echo or high-pass filter makes. For the number and sequence of the effects there are various potential combinations which can be explored by trying them out. In addition, the highs and lows of the chords can be varied via the position on the rail, so that in the end a melody can be created.



Flow State


For the biomedical research foundation Francis Crick Institute in London artist Alex May designed an interactive video installation, the aim of which is to convey everyday work of scientific research to people outside the field – work which consists not only of new day-to-day discoveries, but is characterised mainly by minute precision and routine. For a year he followed the everyday lives of the staff at the institute, out of which finally hundreds of film sequences were created, which May edited for a presentation in the foyer window, that can also be seen from the street. Around thirty 24 by 15 centimetre screens, arranged sculpturally both beside each other and overlapping, show the viewer, if he is still some distance away, an image of microscopic structures put together from all displays – a disseminated portrayal of scientific work. If you approach the installation more closely, a software based on a webcam image, programmed by May, estimates the distance and the screens show the viewer, depending on his distance to the object – regulated via a complex Raspberry Pi network – various video excerpts featuring the architecture of the building and the workflows which the scientists are currently undertaking. If the viewer stands directly in front of the sculpture, he will see all the people presented who work at the Francis Crick Institute.




Cities are attracting more and more people worldwide. The Iranian architect Nasim Sehat is attempting to counter the problem of living space which this causes by means of her concept Slice. She defined the functional units of the complex which comprises residential accommodation and allocated each of them a so-called slice: workplace, sleeping quarters, free room, plus toilet and shower are each represented in a 0.8 by 2.4 by 2.8 metre module. By selecting the slices individually, the modern city dweller can adapt his home to his needs – sleeping and toilet module are always part of the basic design. Via a digital service it is possible to add further modules and to control other aspects of coordination. The slice apartments are stacked in perspective one upon another, so they can accommodate a large number of people in a small space in the form of towers.



The Dutch-Finnish collective Underware lives for typography and, along with designing fonts, aims to teach and convey this discipline. With the objective of designing a font in which each letter can be transformed into another, they created the “Safari from A-to-B” font. To enable a flowing metamorphosis of shape to take place, the individual letters have been so abstracted that new letters are formed solely through the vertical movement of individual elements. Underware transfers this principle also to the connection between the Latin alphabet and braille letters. The Safari Braille Project constructs a link between the Latin letters and the raised-point blind alphabet. The abstracted alphabet is reduced through the vertical movement to points which then shift individually horizontally. The transformation can be traced autonomously on the website by using a regulator system.



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