Multiversités créatives


Architecture, design, mixed media

Multiversités créatives

Past: May 3 → August 6, 2012

The expression ‘multiversity’ originates in the industrial world. Today, it serves as a keyword for a generation of designers with an average age of 35. Their generation is launching itself into an infinity of calculations and networks to provide an aesthetic and human translation. At the crossroads of different disciplines, and through 15 projects designed and produced especially for the occasion, the exhibition gives an account of the current state of their technological and artistic experiments.

2 multiversites creatives achim menges medium
Achim Menges Menges, HygroScope — Meteorosensitive Morphology, 2012 © Achim Menges — avec la collaboration de Steffen Reichert

These projects illustrate and decipher the contemporary revolution of multiple and constantly changing creative processes. They throw light on the emerging issues in today’s design that renew our everyday, cognitive, imaginary and aesthetic experiences. One of these projects came out of a new innovation space, a Fab Lab (short for ‘laboratoire de fabrication’ — a manufacturing laboratory) organised by the Centre Pompidou in February 2012 with the support of the Fondation Zinsou and the Centre Songhaï in Porto-Novo, Benin. Others are experiments, created especially for the exhibition, from the world’s most highly specialised laboratories: the Media Lab in MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States), the Institute for Computational Design in Stuttgart, and the Institut de recherche sur l’Enseignement des Mathématiques at Paris Diderot University.

5 multiversites creatives neri oxman medium
Neri Oxman, Objet Ltd. 3D © Neri Oxman, Prof. Craig Carter (Materials Science and Engineering, MIT), Joe Hicklin (The Mathworks), Objet Ltd.

By concentrating on three central themes: Generating — Manufacturing — Representing — these projects bring together the proposals of researchers in architecture and design, based on computational design and innovation models, with new processes for creating forms and structures. They show how the Fab Labs are reconfiguring design communities and networks to act on the basis of sustainable development. The visitor is invited to manipulate internet data by visualising it graphically. With their tremendous scale — at once minuscule and immense — these interactive devices suggest completely new horizons of sensitive projections.


The word “multiversité” comes from the industrial world and expresses the notion of creative universes that are both multiple and in transformation. The “Multiversités” exhibition features an unprecedented collection of research and experimentation by young designers. This is a generation that travels into the infinities of networks and computation to represent them with a human dynamism, translating them in a manner that is aesthetically unique.

The fifteen projects on display reveal both the relevance of and the emerging questions in several disciplines connected to Industrial Forecasting: architecture, design, new technologies and social innovation.

The exhibition has three thematic threads: Generating: Researchers working in architecture and design use the calculation possibilities of computers in tandem with their knowledge of how materials perform to create unexpected and unprecedented works.

Manufacturing: Whether they’re working in the desert, at a Fab Lab, or in an office, designers are transforming and reappropriating how objects are made.

Representing: How data is processed radically reconfigures how we classify and represent knowledge.


Certain architects and designers, inspired by the development and shape of living organisms, are working to create unexpected works of art. They are aided in their task by the sheer calculating power of the latest computers.

Designers used to design an object’s shape with regards to its function, then choose the constitutive materials. Nowadays, software allows for structural, material, formal and environmental components, as well as manufacturing constraints, to be smoothly integrated. The final form such a design will take is not pre-established.

Architect-designers make use of a morphological vocabulary borrowed from biology, geology, cryptozoology and mythology to render the strangest imaginaries. Aggregates become staggering, scale immoderate, repetitions infinite, interfaces slowed down or speeded up, behaviour evolutive. Here there are assemblages; there, fluidities that enable transplants, expansions, metamorphoses. Like in Biology, interactive and interdependent factors such as the environment influence the development of the form/ structure. This poetics of dynamic interweaving that underlies experimental creativity in architecture and design suspends the idea of the finished, completed work.

All the models on exhibition were designed and made especially for the exhibition.


By taking advantage of the possibilities opened up by the Internet and new technologies, designers read the contemporary world––which is at once globalized and marked by economic, industrial, and cultural breakdown––in a critical way.

At a time when CNC machines are in increasingly common use, these designers are filling the workshops with artisans and the laboratories with manufacturing. These high-tech platforms continuously control the coming-into-being of the object, from its design to its manufacture. When the Centre Pompidou cofounded the first Francophone Fab Lab in Western Africa with the Shanghai Centre of Excellence, we invited the designed Kossi Aguessy to take a fresh look at new creative practices. The furniture designed and modelled in this Fab Lab in Benin was then manufactured in high-tech workshops in France. The use of local wood species minimized environmental impact.

Finally, two interactive graphic environments experiment with the expansion of contemporary virtual spaces for information and knowledge. The volume of data on the Internet increases exponentially every day. Both in their formidable scale, which is both miniscule and immense, and in the novelty of their graphics, these environments, which were designed and made for the exhibition, posit projection horizons that are both reversible and gradual.

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