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Formation in Action: The Sensor Chair and Design Auto-Genesis

Gallery ALL presents Zhang Zhoujie Digital Lab

Design at Large, Design Miami/ Basel 2018

09 June, 2018, Basel, Switzerland – For Design Miami/ Basel 2018 Design at Large, Gallery ALL  presents Formation in Action: The Sensor Chair and Design Auto-Genesis, by Zhang Zhoujie Digital Lab. It is the first ever presentation of Zhang Zhoujie Digital Lab’s complete Endless Form project in its entirety, featuring fifty variations of its chair designs, together with the tactile-sensitive Sensor Chair and live visualizations of the self-generating chair designs as they are in formation via user interaction. The exhibition will be on view from 11 May – 17 May, 2018 at Hall 1 Süd of the Messe Basel.

This pioneering project incorporates artificial intelligence into the design process. How can design break the limitations of culture – the subjective experiences of the designer and the reactions of different people – to be as diverse as nature? How will artificial intelligence change our lives in future? Endless Form provides an answer to these questions. For more than eight years the Zhang Zhoujie Digital Lab has been exploring how AI can map the real world and how to create individualized furniture based on its interactions with humans. This led to the development of the Sensor Chair, a unique piece of custom equipment which collects individual data for each person who sits on the chair. Zhang then developed software to use those data points to generate chairs in various forms that uniquely fit an individual’s body. Each chair is thus the result of collaboration between people and computers. According to Zhang, “Human emotions, instincts, and needs are complementary to artificial intelligence.”

At first glance, these chairs look like they came from another world, with their futuristic perspectives and surprising angles. Though each is unique, as if a freely grown object, all are constructed of the same material and structural logic to create a unified whole. Fifty individual chairs and the hardware sensor chair, which visitors can interact with, are included in the exhibition.

About Zhang Zhoujie:

Zhang graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London and is a member of the Architectural Association School of Architecture. Since establishing Zhang Zhoujie Digital Lab in 2010, he has been a pioneer in the realm of digital creativity. His work is known for being independent, experimental, and futuristic. Zhang believes that objects in the digital world can grow and morph much like things found in nature, and he is dedicated to discovering and exploring the methods within these transformations. His work focuses on logic, variety, and unpredictability, which is based on his understanding of nature. “It’s not about designing something,” he says. “It’s about finding something.”