PROJECT . For me, this was an opportunity to study something
that really interested me. I wanted to embark whole-heartedly upon an investigation
without knowing necessarily where it would end. It was also a chance to
tie together what I had learned during the course of my studies.
I am fascinated by organic shapes and have sought in my
investigations to find forms on the dividing line between free-form and
the geometric. I have also tried to find a ballance between complexity and
Organic form can often be hard to produce in a larger scale.
What can be modelled easily out of clay or in computer software, may prove
to be too complicated for traditional production methods. Therefore I have
tried to find a technical system that could create free forms more easily.
While sketching I have used various techniques for modelling,
including paper, clay, wire and computer software. I find it important to
work hands-on during the sketch process and let the tactile sense complement
the eye in the assessment of forms.
Disastrous and unrestrained natural force is reduced in
the seismological instruments to a settled oscillation registered with great
precision. The chaotic, devastating and unpredictable meets the orderly,
controlled and formal. The whole earth shatters, but the measured movements
WEAPONS . When a nuclear charge explodes in a bore hole
underground, great amounts of energy are set free. In a split second the
pressure increases thousands of times and the temperature rises many millions
of degrees. The surrounding rock evaporates, creating an expanding spherical
Any instrument measuring the earths vibrations is based
on the law of inertia. A load is suspended on springs in such a way that
it lags behind the movement of the ground. This difference is registered
and the information stored for later analysis.
The northern parts of Värmland are considered the best
place in Sweden for seismological observations. Not only is the bedrock
hard and free from cracks, the area is relatively far from the ocean and
major cities, which reduces the level of background noise in measurements.
A major earthquake doesn't only set the surrounding ground rocking;
shock waves are spread across the earth through its crust and centre. With
sensitive equipment these vibrations can be registered and used to analyse
both the quake itself and the interior structure of earth.
By comparing readings from many different places on earth,
the location and intensity of the quake can be determined. Seismological
stations are spread all across the world and most of them are part of a
It is also possible to place a group of seismometers in
an area, the distance between two instruments can range from a few hundred
metres to several kilometres. This is called an array and gives more distinct
and detailed information than a single seismometer.
Because an underground nuclear explosion causes similar
vibration to an earthquake, it can also be registered with seismological
equipment. Since 1995 there is an international treaty to ban testing of
nuclear weapons signed by a majority of the countries in the world. A control
system has been set up and seismology is one of the methods used to discover
Positions on the earth's surface are normally described
in terms of angles relating to the equator and the zero meridian; within
a city region, the location of different areas can be easily expressed in
terms of direction and distance from the city centre; when we describe things
in our immediate vicinity we prefer to use relative terms (over, under,
in front of, behind) that relate either to the own body or some other reference
To sit down in a comfortable armchair can give the sensation
of a form created to fit the body. This is even more evident when putting
on a piece of clothing of the right size. It is sometimes possible to get
the same feeling in a building, when a room or a detail appears to fit around
the body without there necessarily being a physical contact. I find these
The perpendicular, orthogonal system divides space in three
directions (along the axes called x, y, z) where every point can be described
by three co-ordinates. Space is cut up into cubes in a very efficient way,
which makes any part or position equal to every other. There is a theoretical
centre (origin) but this has no real practical importance.
In a polar system, points in space are described by giving
the angle and distance to a reference point, a pole. A sphere can connect
points with equal distance to this origin. In this system, space is differentiated
and constantly related to the pole.
The most obvious way to investigate developable surfaces
is to bend a flat material and see what forms can be made. A piece of paper
can be cut at random and step by step be made to fit another piece. Though
time consuming, this method is great for improvisation and finding new solutions.
+ PAPER. Another approach is to first make a wire frame
and then cover it with paper (see more images above). In doing this it becomes
clear that two curves cannot always be connected by a developable surface
and also exactly how these curves need to be shaped to make it work. This
method offers perfect control over the intersection between two surfaces,
namely the wire.
To quickly sort out a spatial relation or test a new idea,
a piece of clay can be very useful. One disadvantage is of course that the
material is not in itself restricted to being developable (as is paper).
SOFTWARE. In a computer model surfaces are easily edited
and moved and they maintain their position in space without support. If
something is in the way it can be temporarily hidden and the model can be
viewed from every imaginable angle. The surfaces of the model can be flattened
(unless double curved), printed on paper and rapidly assembled to a prototype.
The biggest disadvantage with computers is that the screen lacks depth and
the mouse only moves in one plane resulting in a poor three-dimensional
sense for the model.
The building rests on three cushioning supports that
are screwed directly into the rock. The outer cover is composed of different
pieces of bent polycarbonate plastic, some transparent and some translucent.
Details like openings and fittings are made of stainless steel and screwed
into the plastic. The exterior is fairly symmetrical, relating to the three
I have tried to fins a building system that would make assembly
on site very easy in spite of the complex forms. The sheets of polycarbonate
are cut in a workshop by a programmed laser cutter. Openings are cut out
and the pieces are marked. The pieces are made in different thickness depending
on their position and amount of bending. Some smaller and planar details
are welded in the workshop.
The building's interior is also made out of bent pieces
of polycarbonate. In a centrally placed hole in the floor there is access
to a concrete foundation cast directly onto the rock. This is where the
seismological equipment is placed. Indoor the forms are more organic, trying
to approximate the spheres and cylinders that illustrate different functions
and movements in the building. Because the building is very lightweight
and only has three supports, balance was an important factor for the spatial
The building parts are transported to site and joined together
by thin cable. No templates or supports are needed to give the building
its right shape, the pieces are simply bent (elastically) until they fit
each other obtain the right form 'automatically' when put together. The
plastic itself is the supporting structure.