Zero Gravity 2.0

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formExhibitionSolo art productionpeer-review


“Zero Gravity 2.0” emerges as a multidisciplinary result of design thinking strategies, complex kinematics, and geometry driven structural design. It merges disciplinary aspects that have never been combined before into a user-responsive, super-lightweight spatial experience – an ephemeral space.The future is light, adaptive and ephemeral. Visions, ideas, and thoughts, have zero gravity. That is where everything starts. Our man-created environment is about to overcome Euclidean Geometry, as our materials are getting smarter and lighter and as our processes are informed by data and fabrication technology, our structures will increasingly represent a merger of designed space and performance. Lightness, adaptivity and ephemerality – creating more by using less – are key. Lightness is only partly a matter of material. Lightness is gained by structural understanding. Architectural geometry is a tool that links structure, space and fabrication, rather than it is mere representation. Adaptivity is based on lightness. The lighter, the more efficient in kinematics and many other regards. “Zero Gravity 2.0” is adaptable and adaptive. Its modified 6 degree-of-freedom mechanism allows for motion that is actuated by the interaction of user and structure. Ephemeral represents the double meaning of temporary, namely short-term and long-lasting. Transferred to our built environment this means that in future we have to rethink the timespan of our buildings, cities and infrastructure. Whatever we create has to provide the possibility to “disappear” without any traces after the appropriate time of use. So, the “appropriate” defines the time-span.

Fat Free Design. In the age of Anthropocene, new approaches to sustainability are in urgent demand. The construction sector is one of the major contributors to environmental burden. >40% of the total energy consumption and >36% of CO2 emissions conflict with the declared European targets. So, a responsible selection of used materials, designing appropriate forms and thinking in life-cycles, including fabrication, assembly, use, disassembly and re-use have to be considered in a complex design thinking process, which aims for an environmentally compatible and mind-elevating solutions.

Design for Disassembly. Most objects from mobile phones to cars to buildings are the result of a one-way thinking of material assemblies, as kit-of-parts. Simultaneously, we can recognize a loss of the tradition of repair, including passing the needed knowledge and techniques to the next generation. Design for disassembly means much more than just being temporary. It results in an ease of assembly and rapid disassembly. Elements are joined in such a way that they can be separated by material. “Zero Gravity 2.0” is mainly assembled by lacing technique. Its members, like used tree trunks, are processed the least amount possible. Its geometry represents a deep understanding of material properties, like the elasticity of plywood, structural behavior, kinematics and architectural creation. The whole structure can be disassembled into linear, planar, and rectangular elements, including the seemingly freely shaped cantilevering arms.

Zero Gravity 2.0 : Prototype A Stewart-Gough platform (SGP) is a six degree-of-freedom (DOF) parallel mechanism, initially introduced by Gough and Stewart to animate flight simulator platforms. In common use an SGP consists of a mobile rigid platform, which is connected to a fixed base by six articulated legs in a regular (isosceles) constellation. Each leg is connected to the platforms by universal joints. According to Husty the most interesting question concerning SGPs is to find the pose of the platform frame at given base points, platforms and leg-lengths. This question can be solved by direct kinematics of the SGP and it is used in areas such as robotics, virtual reality or 3D printing. Recently, the interest in the application of these platforms to other fields, such as construction or architecture, has grown, encouraged by their capabilities of generating novel forms in an (seemingly) unlimited design space and huge potential for new functional relationships and visual findings. However, simultaneously, these new forms lead also to new structural requirements regarding functionality, stiffness or, obviously, failure. Thus, both architectural and structural requirements define an iterative process in which geometry becomes the common space where architecture and structural engineering meet.

Zero Gravity 2.0 : People: Günther H. Filz, Professor of Structures and Architecture, Serenay Elmas, Ph.D. Candidate in Structures and Architecture, Athanasios Markou, Ph.D. University Teacher of Structural Engineering

Crew 19/01: Aaron Dahlberg, Alpo Kuusisto, Atte Paananen,Daniel Salomaki, Eero Niklander, Eino Yrjanainen, Emil Sevelius, Filimon Paasilahti, Jens Kruskopf, Iivo Metsa Eerola, Sara Burke, Urho Hakonen.

Crew 19/02: Aapo Korolainen, Eres Berki, Ivan Filimonov, Saskia Sabatini, Anastasia Luzina, Ali Akhondzada, Quentin Sola, Isabel Thelen, Mengfei Zhou, Yuxin Wu.

Supported by: Edel O’ Reilly, Curator, Aalto University; Gary Marquis, Dean, School of Engineering; Petri Kuosmanen, Professor Engineering Design, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Martti Jerkku, Design Factory; Sampo Laine.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherAalto University
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2019
MoE publication typeF1 Published independent work of art or performance
EventZero Gravity 2.0 - Aalto University, Väre Building Main Lobby, Espoo, Finland
Duration: 11 Oct 201922 Oct 2019

Field of art

  • Design


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