New materials and fabrication methods have historically led to radical changes in architectural design. They have indeed been the primary drivers in its evolution. Today, additive manufacturing heralds a revolution in fabrication for design. Yet in architecture, this technology has up to now been used only for small scale models.
Digital Grotesque takes additive manufacturing technology to a true architectural scale. Not a small model is printed, but the actual room itself. Digital Grotesque presents a fully immersive, solid, human-scale enclosed structure with a perplexing level of detail. Its geometry consists of hundreds of millions of individual facets printed at a resolution of a tenth of a millimeter, constituting a 3.2-meter high, 16 square meter large room.
The potentials of additive manufacturing in architecture are enormous. Architectural details can reach the threshold of human perception. There is no longer a cost associated with complexity, as printing a highly detailed grotto costs the same as printing a primitive cube. Nor is there a cost for customization: fabricating highly individual elements costs no more than printing a standardized series. Ornament and formal expression are no longer a luxury – they are now legitimized.