window to the future – Gaudí meets tokyo 3D printing exhibition opens

opening of the exhibition during designart 2021

that Antoni Gaudí would have created with the last 3d printing Technology? the unique, intricate and enchanting stained glass windows of the work of the famous Catalan architect – casa batlló, cripta gaudí de la colonia güell and sagrada familia to name a few – would they be radically different if they were designed today? hui? these are the inspiring questions that the exhibition “Window to the Future – Gaudí Meets 3D Printing” in toyko, japan, attempts to answer. in a special collaboration with the unesco world heritage sites designed by Gaudí, the gallery presents three prototypes mixing machine making with craftsmanship which assume that if …

take a look at the ‘window to the future – Gaudí meets 3D printingexhibition at toyko midtown from October 15 to November 3, 2021.

co-creation film captures research and development of 3D printing technologies aligned with Gaudí’s philosophy

film credit: rikako takahashi (houses)

Learning from Gaudí’s windows for the future of humanity and nature

YKK AP Inc., the technology-driven manufacturer of architectural products, presents the ‘window to the future – Gaudí meets 3D printingexhibition as part of tokyo midtown DESIGN TOUCH 2021 and DESIGN ART 2021. viewers look to the future of windows with three 3D printed prototypes, each free-form to resonate with people and nature. the designs – sun and moon, air and sound – focus on natural elements while drawing inspiration from Gaudí’s diverse architectural philosophy.

the exhibition is open to all at the galleria B1 atrium, tokyo midtown

The exhibition is part of an industry-university co-creation project aimed at advancing research and development of windows manufactured using the latest 3D printing technology. this is in response to modern industrialization, as windows have been standardized and mass-produced to continuously perform at higher levels. led by YKK Group’s 2050 environmental vision – “towards a better future for nature and humanity” – and YKK AP’s goal – “we are building a better society through architectural products” – the project promotes collaborations between several companies, creators and specialists working in different fields around the world.

YKK AP and keita suzuki open window to the future - Gaudí meets 3D printing exhibition in Tokyo
three 3D printed prototypes attempt to create free-form and natural windows of the future

the creative director of the exhibition, keita suzuki, of the studio product design center, was joined by takeshi yamamura, gaudí researcher and associate professor at tokyo polytechnic university, in his research into the creative philosophy of the catalan architect as well as on window designs in particular. the investigation focused the ideas for the exhibition on the natural elements of light, air and sound. these principles reaffirmed the concept of reestablishing windows as connectors between humans and nature. emuni’s masashi murakami was the graphic designer for the project with takehi yamamura + natalia sanz laviña from YSLA architects to create the installation space.

YKK AP and keita suzuki open window to the future - Gaudí meets 3D printing exhibition in Tokyo

YKK AP and keita suzuki open window to the future - Gaudí meets 3D printing exhibition in Tokyo
the rotating sun and moon window cascading shadows of different colors according to the sunlight

three windows of the future printed in 3D

the sun and moon window is inspired by the opening windows that Gaudí designed for the cripta gaudí of the colonia güell. the central axis of rotation of the prototype allows it to rotate freely like a globe. transparent parts change color in response to sunlight, darkening with intensity to block ultraviolet rays. this casts beautifully colored shadows during the day, much like one sees with stained glass, while delicate lighting is drawn to moonlight at night. With the exterior 3D printed frame, the interior wooden frame of the design is carved using a milling machine, paying homage to the famous architect’s time when wood was carved by hand.

YKK AP and keita suzuki open window to the future - Gaudí meets 3D printing exhibition in Tokyo

YKK AP and keita suzuki open window to the future - Gaudí meets 3D printing exhibition in Tokyo
customizable air window pores ensure constant ventilation and heat exchange at the same time

the ventilation window is inspired by the ventilation windows seen in the casa batlló designed by Gaudí. a gyroid structure is formed using an intricate mesh based on butterfly wings, allowing the window to provide constant ventilation. The 3D printed frame incorporates a straw-shaped tube to circulate hot or cold water to adjust the air temperature as it enters the room. there are separate openings to control ventilation and temperature independently. The pore density of the design can be freely customized according to the environmental context and functions.

YKK AP and keita suzuki open window to the future - Gaudí meets 3D printing exhibition in Tokyo

YKK AP and keita suzuki open window to the future - Gaudí meets 3D printing exhibition in Tokyo
the sound window attracts the beautiful sounds of nature to the room

inspired by the perforated windows designed by Gaudí for the spiers of the sagrada familla, the sound window is designed to enhance the sounds of nature. sound is drawn from the local environment, rather than blocking it, in order to better connect humans with their surrounding environment. In the manner of the Catalan architect, the design uses shards (trencadis) to evoke an appearance of complexity. the recycled ceramics are 3D printed to form the frames, which are then colored and individually fired to offer unique expressions.

collaboration with casa batlló

interdisciplinary industry-university collaboration

in collaboration with YKK AP and takeski yamamura, the research of the project was developed through special collaborations with the different architectural monuments of Gaudí exhibited at the exhibition. once this highlight includes a miniature reconstruction – at 40% scale – of a window over three meters high at the casa batlló. with incredible complexity, the latest 3D technology has been able to capture and recreate the original form as a triumph of international interdisciplinary industry-university collaboration.

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