Muqarna Mutation, Mori Art Museum, Future and the Arts exhibition, 未来と芸術展
Muqarna Mutation at Mori Art Museum – by Kyungsub Shin

Michael Hansmeyer’s Muqarna Mutation installation at the Mori Art Museum is a striking piece which I found especially intricate and beautiful. Amongst the chaos which seems to take over the space, there is a sense of order and flow. As an architecture student, I enjoyed this piece because it explores the breadth of design ideas that can come from computational tools, as well as exemplifying how systems can be established and expanded from a very simple initial idea.

Hansmeyer is an architect, as well, who utilizes generative design as a way of rethinking design and its purpose. A big part of his process are the “happy accidents” that come along, ideas that usually take longer to discover. I think that being able to maximize new ideas because of the tools used, is something that is super fascinating.

The algorithmic composition in this project focuses on the designs of muqarna ceiling plans. It utilizes a “selective subdivision algorithm to generate and successively refine these plans”. Essentially, the project started with simply two contour lines outlining the space, then the algorithm subdivides the space into tiles, creating a rather complex grid system. This algorithm is layered on top to create the different levels and layers which can be seen in his project.

Hansmeyer’s artistic abilities are manifested in this piece very evidently. As an architect, maintaining and following a clear set of rules and system is key in creating a new design. More importantly, being able to abstract and develop the systems into layered and purposeful ideas becomes a challenge which many face in the design process. This project is a great example of being able to remain within the bounds of the system while creating an elaborate design.


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