Within this ongoing exploration of multistable bending-active structures, after uncountable binary mechanisms and a series of ternary transformations this encaged tetrahedron points out the first development of a quaternary kinetic system.

Bistable transformations perform a drift between 2 opposite states, drawing a path from one side to another while crossing an energy barrier. Ternary systems give the possibility for circular modes of transformation – the structure can be changed from one state to a second, to the third and directly back to the origin. So now this quaternary mechanism goes again one step further; based on its tetrahedral topology conformational dynamics allow a drift between four sides so that transformations don’t follow a circular lane but loop along spatial coils in a rather spherical network of pathways.

Characteristic for the construction topology is the entanglement of an outer tetrahedral grid (convex) and an inner tetrahedral knot (concave). To enable aforementioned dynamics linear elements connecting each corner knot of the grid with the core structure need to be of specific length. Thus, the core is decentered to one of four sides and inner force distribution is breaking symmetry of the overall shape.

The concept derived from the first realization of a tesseract-like structure in 2018. Starting with a single tetrahedron, already the following stage with additional surrounding areas indicated this „encaged tetrahedron“ with the characteristics of a twisted core. Emerged as subsystem of a hypercube conformational dynamics were only discovered when building it separately.

Those kinetics and a further differentiated view on the shape – outer and inner lines are defining four chambers that are variating in volume – later served as a basis of the concept for a „Heart“ (sculpture and installation exhibited at Villa Schapira, Vienna).

The quaternary oscillation and its specific mode of conserving momentum also opens up another dimension regarding ongoing examinations at the nexus of structural dynamics and human bodily movements and will be worked on with our partners in the field of object manipulation/new circus.

Residing at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris from July to December 2020 to realize a project functionalizing effects of time-dependent material changes on contingent mechanisms

>> approaching cognition!

supported by Kärnten Kultur & Landeshauptstadt Klagenfurt


Offshore, 2019
Bending-Active / Glassfibre & Polyester resin

Liminal Weave, 2019

in: „All.Ein.Gang“, with Zak Ray & Olga Susman


Long time ago, due to intense work on the multistability of bending-active structures, while accumulating new methods of transformation and constantly looking for new shapes, I did turn my back on statics. I saw it located in the stability of those local minima where transformations start and where they happen to come to an end. This view changed radically.

Conformational dynamics are induced by ‚flooding‘ those valleys. The structure is being pushed out of a stable state until crossing an energy barrier so that its intrinsic systematics take over and pull towards the next minimum. In this shape-shifting process the initial and the final states are stable but hardly pointing out specific static potential. But so is the tipping point: in such culminated states of unstable equilimbrium potential energy is at its maximum and only a minimum of additional effort is needed to stabilize the system and gain metastability.

So I started using my experimental approach to also examine such potential ideal shapes for wide-span ultra lightweigt structures. What you see on the pictures below is one of the first models. Currently effort is being put on scaling to realize a small pavillon.
Will keep you informed!