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HyperGrill Metal Tiles

17 August 2010 5,700 views No Comment


A long time ago before we were born, probably after he’d had a few and was waxing philosophical, Chicago architect Louis Sullivan wrote:

“It is the pervading law of all things organic, and inorganic,
of all things physical and metaphysical,
of all things human and all things super-human,
of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.”

Sullivan designed intricate ornamental elements inspired by natural forms, which were meant to look completely complex and awesome as well as to express structure and the organization of his buildings.  Sometimes I wonder what kind of crazy architectural shenanigans Ol’ Sully would be wreaking if he’d lived during the era of digital fabrication; imagine what the man responsible for the content in the image below could have done with access to a computer and some lasers.

Image courtesy http://noonjes.wordpress.com/

Maybe if he were alive today, like the designers at metal fabrication shop MILGO/BUFKIN, Sullivan would have been inspired by the clustering habits of bacteria and protozoa to create perforated metal tiles with intriguing organic-shaped voids.  HyperGrill tiles can be used in places where you might see a standard (boring) metal grate.  According to the product data, the tiles are “inspired by cellular constructions found in nature. The automated fabrication of these flat, surfaces allows for the creation of a variety of periodic, aperiodic and random designs that find application in architecture and interior design” (Source: MetaMatter).  It makes sense to me that a dense pattern of openings would take its form from organisms that cluster and grow to fill whatever surface they inhabit.

MILGO/BUFKIN manufactures to customer specification using sophisticated CAD software, giant press brakes, metal shears, laser and water jet cutters, punches, and precision welding equipment.  They fabricate all things metal, from “massive curtain wall components to column covers to decorative metal trim to fine sculpture.”  They’re based in Brooklyn and it’s my understanding that you can schedule a tour of their facilities if you’re so inclined.

Images courtesy MILGO/BUFKIN


I’m filing HyperGrills under Metal because they’re taking advantage of the wondrous properties of said material by being fabricated out of it.

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