Classical architecture is defined by "orders" - ways to connect a column to a building, to articulate the joining of materials and structural forces. Colloquially, these orders are based on elemental forms : the tree trunk, the plank, the scroll, the leaf.
Michael Hansmeyer is adding a new elemental form : the subdivision algorithm. He turns his math and programming skills to making ornate, organic, hyperdetailed columns generated from lines of code and then comped up in cross-sections of cardboard, almost as if they're being 3D printed.
His latest work with cupolas and domes is even more mesmerizing, like looking deep inside an organic form of near-unbearable complexity.
Inspired by cell division, Michael writes algorithms that design outrageously fascinating shapes and forms with millions of facets. No person could draft them by hand, but they're buildable - and they could revolutionize the way we think of architectural form. This presentation was recorded at TEDGlobal 2012.