programmed matter

 urbino (italy)

client: ubino academy of fine arts

team: programmed matter is a collective project developed by paolo cascone (architect) with flavio galdi, imma polito, elia amaducci, li guoyuan, huang lidong, ambra lorito, noa pane, valeria pilotti, marika ricchi, jessica pelucchini and giancaelo lepore 

technical partner: codesignlab; urbanfablab; spazio geco; keramos


the work of paolo cascone /codesignLab at the urbino academy of fine arts has brought for the first time in an italian academy a new laboratorial practice that focuses on the interaction between digital tools, traditional techniques and natural materials. through this approach paolo cascone, professor of architectural technology at the Politecnico of milan, has worked with the students and the professors of the sculpture school at an ambitious project that aims to investigate the advanced design for the world of ceramic. advanced ceramics – urbino sessions, that sees its first step in the project realized by the research group of codesignLab and urban fablab at the contemporary art biennale of marrakech, belongs to the wider framework of the paolo cascone’s design agenda about computational design and material technology with technological innovation. the environmental installation is made of a suspended ceiling called. programmed matter and an indexical floor. programmed matter is a tridimensional structure of 2 per 2.5 meters, floating over the entrance hall of the academy; it’s composed of a volumetric pattern of about 100 ceramic pieces and its texture is developed through a generative algorithm. components are fabricated in three different technics: 3d printing with clay, lathe and wick. 






in this way we established a dialectic interaction between the innovative approach of paolo cascone, the artistic knowledge of the professors of the academy (giancarlo lepore, rocco natale and luisa valentini) and the traditional technic of the ceramic masters (marcello pucci and orazio bindelli) that have cooperated to the realization of this collaborative project. the pattern is generated by the assembly of self-similar components inspired by bio-mimetic structures (diatomen); the configuration derives from a “frozen movement” that can influence the ambient by filtering the light and amplifying the acoustic sources. indexical floor is  a paper surface that graphically shows the morphogenesis of every component by numeric series. the texture that bears and links the single elements of the installation physically and metaphorically represent the relationship between knowledge and technic that inform the work of paolo cascone. programmed matter, first collaborative work developed in an academic framework in Italy following an innovative methodologic approach, suggests the introduction of new knowledge in the high artistic teaching.




tanks to: the directo for the ubino academy od fine arts prof. umberto palestini; prof. maria giovanna mancini; the masters marcello pucci e orazio bindelli; luca de sanctis (spazio geco)






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