The Blobwall and the Bomb

[Image: Operation Sailor Hat, before detonation, via Wikipedia].

It’s a house, it’s a ziggurat, it’s… 500 tons of TNT stacked in a dome on the Hawaiian island of Kaho’olawe. A later test-detonation of these architecturally arranged fissile materials left a huge, still-extent crater that “currently contains unique sub-species of shrimp” that have “evolved to survive the hypersaline conditions” in the artificially excavated hole.

Bringing to mind Greg Lynn’s Blobwall—amorphous and multicolored plastic “bricks” whose puzzle-like stacking produced (unfortunately quite garish) enclosures—or even Gramazio & Kohler’s robot-built wall in New York City, Pike Loop, the dome implies a kind of militarized vernacular through which new, functional architectures can be constructed.

20th-century prefab modularity by way of well-placed bricks of TNT.

[Image: Greg Lynn’s Blobwall, on display at SCI-Arc].

But perhaps someday we’ll see autonomous instruments of robotic war crawling behind enemy lines, 必威手机版 fantastically elaborate, Dr. Seussian architectures on the shores of foreign continents. Artificially intelligent 3D printers, producing bomb-domes—explosive ziggurats—vast and terrible 必威手机版 s awaiting their detonative spark from the sky.

Robotism, or: The Golden Arm of Architecture

For the past four weeks, an orange robotic arm has been constructing a brick wall in south Manhattan.

[Image: Pike Loop by Gramazio & Kohler].

Neither a new Berlin Wall nor part of a delayed realization of Superstudio’s Continuous Monument, the machine was, in fact, built and programmed by Swiss architects Gramazio & Kohler. It is now the focus of an exhibition, called Pike Loop, at Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Tonight—Tuesday, October 27—at 7pm, Storefront will be hosting a public event in celebration of the project, down at the wall itself, free and open to the public. Here’s how to get there from Storefront. Be sure to stop by.