For the 2021 Venice Biennale, DeWitt Godfrey Studio collaborated with AKT II to create ‘Speirein’ – part of a satellite exhibition called “Time, Space, Existence” that, addresses the Biennale’s theme of How Will We Live Together.
DeWitt Godfrey Studio has collaborated with AKT II to create an art installation for this year’s Venice Biennale.
This 4.3m diameter sculpture is designed to blend in with its beautiful surroundings, whilst simultaneously expressing a connection to the underlying mathematics of nature.
In the initial development stage, the artist formed an array of models from varying-sized circles, before selecting a quasi-spherical form composed of 102 unique cone-shaped elements. Each of these cones was lasercut from 3mm thick weathering steel sheet before being CNC-rolled into the desired shape, ready to be bolted together into modules for assembly on site.
Within the sculpture, light and shadow playfully overlap, allowing viewers to view an earthy environment that is constantly in flux, and encouraging visitors to interact with the form. The name Speirein means to ‘sow’, which derives from the Greek word for spire, spora – evoking notions of new life, creative energy, and knowledge through connections and networks.
AKT II’s role on this project was to provide computational design and structural analysis. In the early stages this involved building custom parametric tools to generate a range of conical layouts across the underlying sphere and automatically generating structural analysis models for each one. These digital tools also allowed the artist to adjust and refine the forms, before a second set of tools automatically generated fabrication information (cutting patterns and rolling data) and assembly information (auto-labelled connection details) for the final design.
Speirein is the latest collaboration in a series of sculptures and installations between Godfrey and AKT II, spanning the past 7 years.