At the Verge of Collapse
By Tiffany Chu / Published by Dwell
Recommended by

Without Out is third in a series of collaborations between Putrih and collective MOS. After meeting at a Buckminster Fuller symposium, Michael Meredith and Putrih decided to work together -- applying their common fascination with Processing (an open-source, parametric programming language) to design and architecture.

L-R: Tobias Putrih and Michael Meredith, photo by Colin Davison

L-R: Tobias Putrih and Michael Meredith, photo by Colin Davison

The core piece of the exhibit, Erosion, is a massive hulk of 2,180 styrofoam bricks, which at first glance seem to be a haphazard aggregation study. Upon further scrutiny (and explanation from the artist), I learned that it was derived from their previous installation at the Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art, Overhang. While Overhang was generated by a Processing-based software that added stacked bricks to maximum protrusion, Erosion is the opposite. As I tiptoed beneath the precarious pile, I could see exactly where the software eroded and dug into the form, subtracting to create negative space. "Instead of exploring architecture as a stable, static entity, this is about the notion of built form at the point precisely before collapse -- that exact moment before ruin, failure," explained Putrih.

Known for his untraditional use of common materials, Putrih showcases smaller sculptures in the other half of the exhibit -- like a series of sketch models done in preparation for the grandiose final review next door. "Each piece expresses two main concepts: modularity and non-fixedness," he stated. Referencing Friedrich Frobel, the inventor of kindergarten, Putrih drew a parallel between his work and developmental psychology theory -- "I think of these as educational and therapeutic, reinforcing the playfulness of the materials."

When I asked about the fate of all the materials after the show is over, gallery educator Mark Linga sang, "We're giving away tons of styrofoam, so...come and get it!"

Tiffany Chu


Besides writing and designing, Tiffany Chu's passions include photography, cartography, and all things Scandinavian.

Everybody loves feedback. Be the first to add a comment.
The author will be notified whenever new comments are added.
Dwell Life © 2016Download our iOS App

We’re inviting you to join us to create a place where we can inspire and share with each other every day, collaborate on collections, projects and stories, ask questions, discuss and debate ideas.

Log in