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michael hansmeyer's 'digital grotesque III' fabricates 3D-printed ornamental column using AI

Digital Grotesque iii by Michael Hansmeyer


Through his ‘Digital Grotesque’ series, Michael Hansmeyer fabricates architectural spaces with the aid of programming, machine learning using artificial intelligence, and visual arts, pushing the boundaries of what is possible. The results see intricate 3D-printed artworks, rich in differentiated geometries and diverse facets. With the ‘Digital Grotesque’ series which the post-modern architect has been working on for the past ten years, the latest iteration of the project was made especially for the BMW Art Club event in Warsaw, which was on display during the first week of October.


Based on purely geometric processes, the team develops what the artists call ‘computational architecture’. The latest installment consists of two parts; a multimedia installation and an ornamental column. The 360-degree video installation depicts a digital grotto — a cave that ‘inhabits a space between artificial and natural’, in endless motion, where spectators can immerse themselves in a constantly changing space generated by detailed, porous, multi-layered structures. The second part is a 5-meter 3D-printed sculpture made entirely of sand. This structure is a translation of the forms developed by AI algorithms in virtual reality into our physical world. See the ‘Digital Grotesque I’ and ‘Digital Grotesque II’ in our previous articles here and here.

michael hansmeyer's 'digital grotesque III' fabricates 3D-printed ornamental column using AIall images by Nowy Teatr | Digital Grotesque III sculpture



bringing unforeseeable shapes to life


For his flagship project, which he has been perfecting for years, the artist explores unseen levels of resolution and topological complexity in architecture, harnessing the algorithms, and the latest 3D printing technologies to bring unforeseeable shapes to life. Although the algorithms do not incorporate randomness, the results could uncover surprising topologies that go far beyond what one could have traditionally conceived. The complexity of the resulting shapes and forms can rival that of the natural world.


Hansmeyer works on every facet of the process, from coding and writing algorithms to 3D printing and the handiwork that demands meticulous precision.‘I am interested in how developments in technology are redefining before our very eyes what is possible in architecture and design and, above all, what is conceivable. In my opinion, algorithms are a tool, but one that, in partnership with humans, is able to help them understand themselves, recognize their capabilities and even come closer to grasping the nature of such a fleeting concept as beauty,’ he explains.

michael hansmeyer's 'digital grotesque III' fabricates 3D-printed ornamental column using AI the structures carry a degree of complexity rivaling that of the natural world



Commissioned by BMW (see more here) for its Art Club 2022 event in Warsaw, ‘Digital Grotesque III’ unveils a multi-sensorial experience that questions the affinity between humans, technology, art, and the world. These intricate objects are made without a specific function, but they stand as ornaments, stimulating emotions and giving a glimpse of what the architecture of the future might look like.


‘For our commission, the artist is preparing an immersive multimedia installation called ‘Digital Grotesque’ and a sculpture inspired by ancient columns to complement the virtual world. His hallmark is harnessing machines and intelligent algorithms to explore and create beauty. His artistic practice is a kind of laboratory for experimenting with the new possibilities that the development of intelligent technologies opens up for us in the fields of shaping space as well as creating beauty,’ explains project curator Stach Szabłowski.

michael hansmeyer's 'digital grotesque III' fabricates 3D-printed ornamental column using AIintricate forms generated in virtual reality are materialized into our natural world


michael hansmeyer's 'digital grotesque III' fabricates 3D-printed ornamental column using AI




BMW Art Club: video installation | ©Demetris Shammas
BMW Art Club: video installation | ©Demetris Shammas

project info:


name: Digital Grotesque III

artist: Michael Hansmeyer

video created by: Demetris Shammas | @dshmms
sound: Emiddio Vasquez

curator: Stach Szablowski

executive producer: Joanna Manecka
construction: Tadeusz Perkowski
visual identity: Noviki
teaser: Sebulec

voxelization: Benjamin Dillenburger / DBT ETHZ

organizer: BMW

production: Sto Lampartow

partner: Nowy Teatr |  @nowy_teatr 
technology partner: Epson

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