Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural form.

Why you should listen

Classical architecture is defined by "orders" -- ways to connect a column to a building, to articulate the joining of materials and structural forces. Colloquially, these orders are based on elemental forms: the tree trunk, the plank, the scroll, the leaf. Michael Hansmeyer is adding a new elemental form: the subdivision algorithm. He turns his math and programming skills to making ornate, organic, hyperdetailed columns generated from lines of code and then comped up in cross-sections of cardboard, almost as if they're being 3D printed.

His recent work with cupolas and domes is even more mesmerizing, like looking deep inside an organic form of near-unbearable complexity. See images at digital-grotesque.com >>

What others say

“His work is composed of sixteen million faces and made from 2,700 layers of cardboard. It is the result of a cutting-edge computational process, and people's responses to it are just as improbable.” — Laura Alsop, CNN

Michael Hansmeyer’s TED talk

Michael Hansmeyer on the TED Blog

Quotes from Michael Hansmeyer

[There are] unseen objects that await us, if we as architects begin to think about designing not the object, but a process to generate objects.
Michael Hansmeyer
TEDGlobal 2012 • 700K views Jul 2012
Beautiful, Fascinating
[Even] a very simple form contains a lot of information that may not be visible to the human eye.
Michael Hansmeyer
TEDGlobal 2012 • 700K views Jul 2012
Beautiful, Fascinating
If we had no bias, if we had no preconceptions, what kind of forms could we design?
Michael Hansmeyer
TEDGlobal 2012 • 700K views Jul 2012
Beautiful, Fascinating