The power of repetition

Simple rules can lead to complex results. Examples are intricate tiling and the layering of patterns in clothing, furniture and façades. Romanian architect and designer Vlad Tenu has used repetition of simple material shapes to great effect.

His design won him this year’s Tex-Fab award, a competition that encourages digital fabrication in design and architecture.

This material experiment shows us the power of simple repetition. Using 16 basic shapes of preformed polycarbonate, the artist fixes them together like a flexible construction toy. By arranging the shapes into symmetrical patterns, a large scale shape is created.

The material is shaped with regular holes that create patterns as well as increasing the material’s flexibility. By playing with the placement, repetition and even colour of the material, the designer has made objects which display a huge range of intricate geometry. With names like Beehive and Nucleotida, the connection with nature is clear.

While the designer’s inspiration comes from the shape of soap bubbles, the result looks like something from an alien world. But the experiments are very useful too. They are research objects that can help us understand how to construct complex shapes with a minimum of rules and at maximum material efficiency.

With that, these geometric structures have potential for use in buildings, clothing or any number of other applications.


The designer’s website is here. Learn more about on Tex-Fab. Images credit: Hektor Kowalski.