Exhibition, Daniel Norell


Alumni Daniel Norell (M.Arch.II ’06) and Einar Rodhe of Norell/Rodhe have completed Erratic, an installation at ADD, the Aalto University Digital Design Laboratory in Helsinki, Finland in conjunction with the Helsinki Design Week.  Norell/Rodhe's installation, along with an accompanying exhibition of models and drawings, opened on September 19 and will be on view until October 17. The opening was followed by a discussion with ADD Director and UCLA Adjunct Associate Professor Kivi Sotamaa and invited guests.

Made from a thick custom-made sack restricted at hundreds of points, the massive 3 x 3 x 3 meter piece illustrates the tension between meticulous design and temperamental materials. The installation playfully explores the tension between precise design intent and materials that behave erratically. The spheroid, floating massing of the installation echoes an erratic block that has been tumbled by glacier-ice.
"Erratic" by Norell/Rodhe at the ADD, Helsinki. Image courtesy of Norell/Rodhe.
"Its irregular, meandering surface is designed as a battle of forces between a thick surface and a rigid, inner armature. Simultaneously strange and familiar, Erratic seeks to evoke a multitude of ambiguous associations that range from rock to cloud, from solid to ephemeral. Larger than furniture, but smaller than a house, Erratic measures approximately 3 x 3 x 3 meters and is situated in ADD’s double height gallery and café. It is constructed from a thick, custom made sack that has been constrained in hundreds of points."
"The excess material created by this move makes the surface bend and furl in an unpredictable manner, as if its surface was experiencing sudden bursts of noise. At 50 square meters and 100+ kilos, the sack had to be hoisted onto the armature using ADD’s overhead crane."
"Due to the sheer size of the installation, some of the design work was carried out in animation software that simulates the behavior of cloth. The location of each constraining point was then translated to a precise armature."
"Erratic" by Norell/Rodhe at the ADD, Helsinki. Image courtesy of Norell/Rodhe.
"The analog installation is accompanied by an exhibition of 3D-printed models and drawings that showcase variations of the piece. These studies were carried out in the digital realm, but thanks to simulation they still feature the lively and unwieldy character of the installation."