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05.18.07 - 07.08.07 | SCI-Arc Gallery
EMERGENT + Buro Happold: Dragonfly

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The SCI-Arc Gallery is pleased to present Dragonfly, a site-specific installation designed by Los Angeles-based architectural firm EMERGENT and international engineering firm Buro Happold. Dragonfly explores the relationship between structure and form and is an experiment in the fluid feedback of design sensibility, engineering innovation, and the logic of digital fabrication. The morphology of dragonfly wings is the complex result of multiple patterning systems, interweaving in response to force flows and material properties. Dragonfly wings consist of both honeycomb patterns, which are flexible and behave like membranes, and ladder-type patterns, which are stiff and behave like beams. A composite of distributed and linear structural formations, Dragonfly is a field of continuous variation and adaptation, developed using evolutionary computing — similar to natural selection in nature — and created using a file-to-fabrication process that involves a parametric fabrication model and CNC routing devices on aluminum panels.

Founded in 1999 by Tom Wiscombe, EMERGENT is dedicated to researching issues of biomorphology, engineering innovation, and materiality through built form. EMERGENT is a platform for experimentation, leveraging technologies, techniques, and approaches from fields including complexity science, aerospace engineering, and computation. EMERGENT’s approach is informed by contemporary models of biology and systems theory rather than by the arts, to achieve an architecture based on structural pattern formation and emergent behavior. The work is part of a larger movement referred to by Detlef Mertins as "Bioconstructivism," where biology, mathematics, and engineering combine to produce an architecture characterized by its wild variability and performativity. The work questions the dialectic of excess and efficiency in architecture in favor of a more complex understanding of both through biology. Buro Happold provides cutting edge solutions across a wide range of sectors, producing high quality engineering design and delivering economical, functional and inspirational designs that perfectly meet the needs of both clients and users. The firm is dedicated to research and continually investigates new methods of construction, new materials and new thinking, understanding the need to be adaptable and willing to respond to the changing needs of time and the industry.