Imprimer le monde


Design, new media, sculpture

Imprimer le monde

Past: March 15 → July 3, 2017

Digital technology has disrupted the design and production of objects, transforming the way architects, designers and artists work. The exhibition “Imprimer le monde” (Printing the world) explores the emergence of new digital 3D-printed artefacts in artistic creation.

From the designer object to the architectural prototype, and from the production workshop to innovative laboratory objects, this exhibition brings together a generation of artists, designers and architects who have begun using 3D printing as a critical tool for experimenting. Through some forty creators, it questions the transformation of forms within a “digital materiality”, where a new object typology has appeared with 3D printing as the common denominator.

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Olivier Van Herpt, Sediment Vases, Vue d’atelier, Eindhoven, 2015 Impression 3D de céramique Courtesy Design Academy Eindhoven — Photo © Femke Rijerman

What is the creator’s status in this age where these “non-standard” objects are produced, simultaneously unique and industrially manufactured? What is the status of this object “printed” in 3D, simultaneously an everyday object, technological object, work of art, designer object and architectural prototype? How can we explain its rapid spread to all areas of production in the digital age? Qualified as a “breakthrough technology”, 3D printing has become widespread over the last fifteen years through open source software platforms and development in industries ranging from aeronautics to biotechnology. From the micro world (printing cells) to the macro world (printing architecture on a scale of 1:1), and from the visible to the infravisible, additive production raises numerous questions that touch on the status of the artwork as well as the world of industry and scientific research.

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Michael Hansmeyer & Benjamin Dillenburger, Grotto II, Digital Grotesque, 2017 Impression 3D, sables de silice et liant, revêtement multicouches — 345 × 323 × 194 cm Collection Centre Pompidou Production. Acquisition récente du Musée national d’art moderne. Collection Centre Pompidou

Representational methods in the digital age are central to artistic approaches that explore the status of the image and the borders between the physical and virtual. Achraf Touloub questions the circulation of digital images, transferring them into three dimensions. Jon Rafman’s 3D printed busts echo both archetypes of the past and hypertechnology. Morehshin Allahyari’s artefacts reactivate memories of historical monuments destroyed by the war in Syria, using 3D printing as a tool for repairing history. The idea of an object’s temporality is also explored by designer Dov Ganchrow through his hand-knapped flint tools with 3D printed handles. A similar speculative approach is at work in the “dysfunctional objects” of Matthew Plummer- Fernandez and the “hacked objects” of Jesse Howard.

This new digital artefact stands at the crossroads of artisanal skills that have changed the techniques of designers. Olivier Van Herpt designs both digital files and machines to print design objects in 3D which “simulate” and transcend the artisanal object. Designers make use of digital simulation software and the programming languages of architects to design complex and innovative objects. The designer Joris Laarman, who will be printing a metal bridge in Amsterdam in 2017, is at the cutting edge of this research, as is Mathias Bengtsson, who has made the first titanium table using additive production. The organic forms of these works draw on the evolutionary processes of nature, recreated using digital simulation tools. Dirk van der Kooij asserts a “sustainable” approach, using processes involving recycled plastic filaments to make his pieces. The designers François Brument and Sonia Laugier are presenting a set-up reconstructing their workshop, retracing the design and production phases of their pieces.

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Centre Pompidou, Vue d’exposition, Imprimer le monde, 2017 Photo © Audrey Laurans

Architects were the first to start using these digital technologies to develop new design and production processes, experimenting with them through prototypes and materials: large-scale 3D printed concrete (EZCT Architecture and Design Research in collaboration with XtreeE; Gramazio Kohler Research), ceramics (Jenny Sabin) and new synthetic materials (Neri Oxman, Alisa Andrasek). Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger have pushed the possibilities of 3D design and printing to their limits through the Grotto II installation, whose ornamental exuberance is the result of algorithmic calculations. Kevin Clement, Yusuke Obuchi and Jun Sato, together with the University of Tokyo Advanced Design Studies Unit and the Kengo Kuma Associates agency, have developed a project for the exhibition on site: a canopy of biodegradable plastic filaments derived from food waste, produced using a 3D print pen designed to produce complex architectural structures.

The installations produced by IRCAM deploy acoustic spaces. Whether sound or material is involved, the digital space generates forms. How can we interpret and compose a space through the dimension of sound and new spatialisation techniques? In Disenchanted Islands, the composer Olga Neuwirth takes the visitors/ audience on a virtual journey to San Lorenzo in Venice, the venue where Nono’s Prometeo was given its first performance with a stage design by Renzo Piano. The sound imprint of the Venetian church is transferred to the museum space through the 3D convolution process. With “Jardin d’Eden” (Garden of Eden), the artists Raphael Thibault and Hyun-Hwa Cho present an immersive installation in the form of a double video projection, 3D-printed sculptures and a sound and music panorama. Here, the spatialisation of the sounds echoes the images. Digital simulation processes concern all artistic fields, whether the 3D simulation of the sound space or the digital simulation of the territory through Thibaut Brunet’s 3D scans of photographs.

04 Beaubourg Zoom in 04 Beaubourg Zoom out

Place Georges Pompidou

75004 Paris

T. 01 44 78 12 33 — F. 01 44 78 16 73

Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 11 AM – 9 PM
Late night on until 11 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €16.00 — Concessions €14.00

Gratuit pour les moins de 18 ans, billet exonéré pour les moins de 26 ans. Et pour tout le monde, les premiers dimanches du mois.

Venue schedule

The artists

  • Achraf Touloub
  • Vincent Fournier
  • Joris Laarman
  • Neri Oxman
  • Kengo Kuma
  • Thibault Brunet
  • Aldo Bakker
  • François Brument & Sonia Laugier
  • Lining Yao
  • Jifei Ou (Tangible Media Group
And 40 others…