Michael Hansmeyer’s Grotto Project involves the conception and design of a new column order based on subdivision processes. It explores how subdivision can define and embellish this column order with an elaborate system of ornament.
An abstracted doric column is used as an input form to the subdivision processes. Unlike the minimal input of the Platonic Solids project, the abstracted column conveys a significant topographical and topological information about the form to be generated. The input form contains data about the proportions of the the column’s shaft, capital, and supplemental base. It also contains information about its fluting and entasis.
When entering the exhibition room, the viewer at first perceives sixteen columns. This effect, created by the use of two floor-to-ceiling mirrors on adjoining walls, is intentionally accentuated by the columns’ design. Thus the columns are symmetrical along only a single axis, and they have different appearance when seen from the front or the back. In effect, two column permutations are united in a single column – with eight virtual models for the four physical objects.
While the procedural approach to design enables this multiplicity of output, it also expands the solution space on the level of the single object. It thus allows the creation of objects that are otherwise undrawable – and perhaps even unimaginable – in terms of their detail and complexity. (via)