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The shapes unfold, crystalline and asymmetrical, a sort of cellular chaos. These are almost Martian-like creations, sculptural works that—in their lowest-lying forms—allow for functional seating, while hinting at the possibility of one day becoming a full-on building system. If architects Ben Aranda and Chris Lasch could design the world, oh, what a world that would be.
The New York-based design duo known as Aranda\Lasch creates shapes that appear to multiply, self-replicate. Though entirely new and fresh in appearance, the inspiration for their crystalline structures stems from the research of 17th-century mathematician Johannes Kepler and what was, at the time, his unconfirmed belief in the possibility of quasi-crystals. Quasi-crystals are structures that are “ordered but not periodic.” Lacking translational symmetry, each individual crystal is unique, never matching its original exactly. Because their molecular pattern never repeated, it was thought—during Kepler’s time and, until quite recently—that quasi-crystals could not exist. They were known as “forbidden symmetries.”
Though in size and scope, the structures created by Aranda and Lasch—from buildings to furniture to various artistic installations—may appear alien, they are a direct extension of the natural world. Aranda and Lasch are expanding upon some of the greatest structural principles generally reserved for the smallest shapes, taking what defines something as seemingly inconsequential as a snowflake in order to create something you can use and engage with on a grander scale.
To think big, sometimes you have to start small.