Held together with 3D printed joints and utilizing high-tech The Breath fabric, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s “breath/ng” sculpture looks good and does good.
Standing at an impressive 6 meters tall, renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma‘s breath/ng origami-like sculpture captures the imagination as much as it does pollution in the air.
Designed for Dassault Systèmes’ Design in the Age of Experience exhibition at Milan Design Week in April, Kuma’s sculpture is a snaking, winding vessel of hand-folded The Breath panels, making use of 120 panels totaling out to 175 square meters of material.
No ordinary art piece, Kuma’s breath/ng serves a practical purpose, in that is can absorb airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other airborne nasties directly from the air, disaggregating them in the process.
Dassault Systèmes tasked Kuma with finding a solution to a modern (and growing) problem using today’s tech for its Design for Life sub-exhibit.
Suspended from the ceiling by a single carbon fiber rod, the concertina-like form of breath/ng is fixed in place by 46 3D printed joints.
High Tech Solution Sculpture
As a part of the exhibition, Kuma took to the stage to deliver a keynote speech alongside CATIA Dassault Systèmes CEO Philippe Laufer. An open invitation to designers to consider such pollution-fighting materials as The Breath, Kuma’s sculpture also leveraged Dassault Systèmes’ suite of 3D modeling and design software for its creation.
In addition to mapping out his vision of a soft material based structure, Kuma’s design process resulted in the use of HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing to produce 46 unique joint pieces. These pieces are used together to maintain the structure and rigidity of breath/ng.