Stacked Toroid combines sophisticated digital design technologies with simple methods of construction and assembly to explore the relevance of manual labor in the age of computation. The simple, primitive act of stacking wood, a utilitarian, space-making impulse, is given new expressive potential by forming a complex, computationally generated figure. The toroid is a shape resembling a torus that, in this case, is formed by twisted elliptical profiles around a central column of space.
The object’s perceived shape shifts significantly as visitors move through the adjacent lobby space. Walking a closer elliptical orbit around the Toroid reveals a variety of relational effects generated as the structural wood lattice intersects the boundary of the toroid’s surfaces. The detailing and finish of the object belie the intense, repetitive physical effort required for its making, and the final result presents the polished “easiness” we expect from digital objects.
Stacked Toroid was commissioned as part of the City of Portland’s Regional Arts and Culture Council's Installation Art Series (w) with the support of Portland State University's School of Architecture (w).
Nicholas Vipond with installation assistance from Willy Chandler, Faith Lindner, Brendan Murphy, and Peter Heibel.