By on June 15th, 2020

The Beauty of Complexification

The Complexifying work of Michael Hansmeyer.

Michael Hansmeyer and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.Wikipedia
Sounds like fusion in cuisine and music, yes? Higher-toned delivery but sisters at heart. Aspects of globalism, the mingling of peoples. The tendency in modern practice to both hyper-focus and intermingle like a red sweatshirt in a laundry of white. In hyperfocus a medical doctor becomes an internist becomes a cardiologist becomes an expert on heart arrhythmia.  The push-back tendency is for artists to work fruitfully with doctors, doctors to probe with physicists, physicists and musicians to learn things together.
You may think that the parer-downers have difficult work and complexifiers have it easy. Throw in a bunch of newts, a corsage of orchids, some onion soup mix. Complexity! We need to understand that mindless complexifying can be done by a dog undigging bones in a nice lawn. Don’t even need a human. But brilliant complexifying takes imagination and rigor..

Michael Hansmeyer is among the elite who think about reasons to wantonly complexify rather than to simplify. This unique corps of thinkers buck the trend of paring off the dross to find something pristine and spit-shined inside. Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of algorithms to generate and fabricate architectural form. []


He has taken a platonic solid (think sphere – cube – pyramid…) and devised thousands of unique variations. See the bottom tier of the illustration above. He says:


All of the forms shown are generated using the same single process, Only the variables that control the process’ division operation are allowed to change. This single process affects both the form’s topography and topology. It influences attributes such as the degree of branching, porosity, and fractalization – just to name a few. Platonic Solids.


The top of the above illustration gives you a taste of Hansmeyer’s mind in solid production. One has to appreciate the industrial fabrication know-how that gives visual form to his heady mathematics. No way he’s not involved in this too.