Amir Gazit is the creative force behind the floating architectural installation, ‘The Cloud’ – a physical manifestation of the data that drives our daily lives. The Cloud will be exhibited at the Bookmarks Awards this evening at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town. We get an inside exploration and understanding of his process and find out more about The Cloud.
There are many factors that go into a profession like yours: you have to be artistic, you have to understand design, landscape, even biology. How did you come to do what you do?
I actually didn’t “become”, I always was curious, I always asked the question, and I always wanted to know… therefore I experimented… experimentation is my way of finding answers…
Were there any influences early in your career that stand out?
Not really, I am not “influenced by” or “inspired by”. I am driven by my curiosity to explore the unknown.
What inspired the creation of The Cloud?
The creation of “The Cloud” is based on my interest in the relationship between the natural and built environment.
The Cloud will be exhibited at The Bookmarks and appears as such a complex concept as it embraces elements of technology, environment and architecture. How have technology and the environment affected the way you work creatively as an architect?
Technology is a tool. This is a powerful tool that I use not only to explore how nature and buildings will interact with each other but also how it is used in the new digital age.
Looking at an installation like The Cloud, are people and environments driving the use of new technologies or is it architects and designers? Also taking The Bookmarks into account, where is the demand for new technologies coming from?
Technology is everywhere and every day new technologies are arising. The question is “what do we do with it”. You don’t have to be an architect or designer to use new technologies. I am using advanced computational technologies and manufacturing techniques to implement my architectural philosophies.
Can you explain the process of pulling data from environmental elements in South Africa and what part it played in the development of your work?
I started by pulling data from environmental elements in South Africa; wind speed, wind direction, humidity, temperature CO2 emissions etc… Then I wrote a script for a ‘living geometry’ that reacted to this data over a period of 356 days. The geometry changed its form depending on the elements – i.e. if the temperature increased, the shape would expand. If the wind blew harder, the shape would decrease in volume. After just over a year, I froze the data so that a fixed form was captured, and began the process of translating the rendering to a physical structure. I searched for a material that would be hard enough to retain the form, yet still flexible – and eventually opted for a lightweight plastic. The material was laid flat and cut into over two thousand five hundred unique pieces and each piece was labelled to ensure that it was assigned its correct place. The final installation was assembled in just over two months.
What have you seen on recent travels that inspires you?
The beauty of nature.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on an architectural installation for the World Design Capital next year. I design installations using various techniques of data harvesting such as using global data collecting networks. Some of my work is being exhibited on the continent and throughout Europe, and the daily work at the studio never stops.
Head over to Amir’s website to find out more about his work
For the latest on the Bookmarks Awards, click here