news
  • 08 september - 08 december 2018
    exhibition

    Our 'the idea of a tree' project is part of the exhibiton 'Neue Urbane Produktion' at Halle 14 in Leipzig. Exhibition is curated by tri.polis

    Halle 14

  • from 25 september onwards
    window installation at Hermés in Osaka

    our new window installation for Hermès in Osaka will be installed by the end of the month

  • 2018
    acquisition

    our project 'colour breeze' which was developed for the 'play'-exhibition by the British Crafts Council is now part of their collection

    colour breeze

  • 02 - 28 october
    exhibition

    two jewellery pieces we designed for chp..? jewelry´s
    'device people' - a project based on the impact of electronic devices - on show at Hôtel Droog in Amsterdam

    device people at hôtel droog

the idea of a tree – process

A semi-autonomous machine combining natural input with a mechanical process

  • year ongoing since 2008

  • category Processes, Machines & Their unique Results

  • commissioned by

    self-initiated

'recorder one' at the Danube, Vienna

the idea of a tree is an autonomous production process which combines natural input with a mechanical process. It is driven by solar energy and translates the intensity of the sun through a mechanical apparatus into one object a day.
The outcome reflects the various sunshine conditions that occur during this day. Like a tree the object becomes a three dimensional recording of its process and time of creation.
The machine “Recorder One” starts producing when the sun rises and stops when the sun settles down. After sunset, the finished object can be “harvested”.
It slowly grows the object, by pulling threads through a colouring device, a glue basin and finally winding them around a mould.
The length/height of the resulting object depends on the sun hours of the day. The thickness of the layer and the colour is depending on the amount of sun-energy.

more sun = thicker layer and paler colour
less sun=thinner layer and darker colour.

The process is not just reacting on different weather situations, but also on shadows happening in the machine’s direct surrounding. Each cloud and each shadow becomes important for the look of the final object.
Various the idea of a tree -objects are possible.
The concept of introducing natural input into a serial production process suggests a new way of looking at locality. This “industrialized locality”, is not so much about local culture, craftsmanship or resources, instead it deals with climatic and environmental factors of the process’ surrounding. On a series of objects you can tell somehow the place of production. On the equator, for example, the objects would always have the same height/length, whilst in North- and Middle Europe, the seasons help shaping the objects. In countries with a lot of rain the objects would be darker and thinner whilst in sunnier regions the objects would be paler but thicker.
For us the idea of a tree is an idealistic vision on how machines combined with nature can produce great results, – an idea of industrial halls with daylight and manufacturing within natural rhythms.

explanative video about the idea of a tree

we were wondering how from all the different trees...

...the outcome (here: chair) looks always the same and why

this bench was made on a rather sunny summer-day in Vienna. The darker part in the middle implies that it was cloudy for a brief period

whereas this piece was produced on a rather grey january day, also in Vienna

how to "read" the object

locality as an important factor for the final outcome

detail of winding thread

detail of label describing day and place of production

  • machine ‘recorder one’

  • materials

    stainless steel construction on a wooden trolley;

    solar panels, electronic components

  • dimensions

    145 x 65 x 185 cm

  • collection

    the idea of a tree machine recorder one and two benches are part of the permanent collection of the MAK – museum of applied arts – Vienna