max gerthel + tectonicus' breathing 'octopus pavilion' lights up beijing's baitasi district max gerthel + tectonicus' breathing 'octopus pavilion' lights up beijing's baitasi district
oct 03, 2016

max gerthel + tectonicus' breathing 'octopus pavilion' lights up beijing's baitasi district

 

beijing design week: max gerthel studio & tectonicus constructs have created a responsive, breathing octopus-inspired canopy for suspension over a disused storage lot at the centre of the baitasi neighborhood in beijing, china. called ‘the octopus pavilion’, the mobile is intended to serve as a hub for design week activities in the surrounding area. the temporary installation is part of the ‘soft city’ platform, a initiative that aims to change the way we think about contemporary urban infrastructure through a series of public workshops and forums that focus on ‘soft’ urban practices and development initiatives.

 

 

 

 

taking their cue from the fluid, multi-faceted movements and alien anatomy of the octopus, max gerthel and tectonicus have created a bouyant, pillow-like series of interconnected membranes capable of reacting and responding to movement and sound. the design of the structure references the extreme physical pliability of the octopus, its capability for expressive personality, and its intelligent, neuron rich skin; capable of a range of adaptive behaviors from camouflage and mimicry to misdirection and mesmerization. 


each pillow is equipped with a sensor, allowing the octopus to react in real time

 

 

‘octopus pavilion’ is made of an array of pneumatic cells that can inflate and deflate as well as glow with colored light in response to activity in the site. each cell has its own sensors, micro-controller, fan and RGB LEDs, allowing it — though the supple nature of the connecting material — to react both independently and as an organic whole. through the sensors the pavilion responds to activities below, reacting to and mapping out the various unfolding events in the site and inviting interaction from beijing design week revelers. in this way, the pavilion hopes to become the literal beating heart of the baitasi neighborhood. over the course of the week the inflatable structure will play home to a series of ‘soft city’ themed panels, workshops, forums, performances, screenings and lectures.


the plaza is located in the heart of the baitasi neighborhood


the pavilion will play host to a number of events over the week


a central fan unit inflates each individual section


at night, the canopy lights up in response to stimulus below


the octopus hopes to become the beating heart of the baitasi neighborhood


the ‘soft city’ program aims to interrogate and challenge the way we design cities today


the installation was constructed above an empty lot, used to store recycled materials

 

drawings

 

 

 

project info:

 

design: tectonicus, max gerthel studio
team: jordan kanter, max gerthel, nicolas walz, amanda schwarz
technical support: k1nd
supported by: baitasi remade, embassy of sweden
thanks to: yang lei, sheng qiang the 2nd year architecture students of beijing jiaotong university

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: peter corboy | designboom

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