A few months ago, Manor House Development Trust, a charitable social enterprise centred in Hackney, chose and funded the design practice Something & Son to create a sculpture to take pride of place in the new Redmond Community Centre at Woodbury Down in North-East Hackney. Something & Son approached Inition for help creating a crowd-sourced data sculpture featuring a forest of over 400 3D-printed trees, each corresponding to an individual's answers to an online questionnaire.
Something & Son described the artwork as infosculpture because it is both a work of art and a source of information on an particular area. And the whole project is called "People Wood" infosculpture because forests and societies are both complex and interconnected systems which stand or fall on the strength of individual trees or individual people.
What is unique is the sculpture is made up of hundreds of individual trees each unique to the person who made it.
Inition's creatives developed bespoke software in order to map the collected data to the tree 'growing' process. The online questionnaire asked residents questions about their social lives, about how long they had lived in the Manor House area and how often they interacted with their neighbours. Answers to these questions were used by Inition to determine various aspects of each tree's physical appearance, for example:
Diversity of origin = Roundness of tree trunk and branches
Years lived in the Manor House area = Length of the branches
Interaction with neighbours = Spread of the trees branches
Overall sense of happiness = Bushiness of the tree
The shape and colour of each tree is determined by the creator's social activity, the stronger this is gauged to be, the more fruit the tree will bear- resulting in brighter tips. And the bigger and more vibrant the forest the more active the community.
The sculpture was made using 3D printing technology - 3D printed in-house at Inition on a ZPrinter450. The trees are printed layer-by-layer by depositing a liquid binder onto thin layers of powder. This produces a hard-wearing ceramic composite.
To complete the sculpture the printed trees were sent to the Redmond Community Centre where they were suspended from a ceiling as a permanent installation.
(Images credit: Inition)
It will remain permanently as a reminder of the flourishing community that the centre serves. Counter to the usual data representation of communities as large aggregated data sets and trends, the subtleties of the sculpture bring complex, personal data to life in a sculptural form.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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