How exactly has Morfff been made from "code and concrete?"
That's a question I get asked quite a lot, especially the code part, so I thought I'd explain the process of creating Morfff.
As an artist working with digital technology, I use code a lot in my work — from making digital imagery that exists on screen or in print or physical based interactive installations that may involve electronics, lights, metals and other such materials.
Code for me is a material like any other and over the last few years I've been exploring code — often in conjunction with data — to create physical forms.
It was during these experiments that I created a form using undulating sine waves. After 3D printing this on my Makerbot Replicator it just sat on my desk. Then one day I happen to place some notes into it — to try and keep my desk nice and tidy — and I liked how it held them. At this stage it wasn't quite right, so over the next few days and weeks I tweaked the code to get the undulation at just the right frequency and depth for it to hold things without it being too tight.
Yet I realised there was a problem — it was too light. When you pulled the letters or notes away, the form came with it. It needed to be heavier, made with a heavier material, such as concrete. How though could I prototype a concrete form? My 3D printer was great but concrete was beyond the materials it could use. Luckily a new device had just come out that was ideal for my prototyping purposes — the FormBox from Mayku. A few months later after placing my order the FormBox was sat next to my Makerbot and I was ready to start prototyping the next iteration.
Using the FormBox I could create a vacuum formed shape to create a mould into which I could cast concrete. I had never used concrete before so there was lots of learnings, lots of things went wrong during this process, but it gave me enough of a real form to test the viability of my idea in the actual material I would go on to use.
Once I was happy with these prototypes I then sourced a manufacturer to get Morfff made, ordering various samples along the way, adjusting each time until I was happy.