H_edge, is new project created by Cecil Balmond and ARUP Advanced Geometry Unit, a think tank dedicated to researching complex structural geometry in support of new architectural visions and solutions. AGU’s installation at Artists Space will function as an enclosure within the gallery, allowing visitors the opportunity to experience, interact with, and compartmentalize physical space in new and exciting ways. H_edge is an experiment in the use of geometry and matter to create organizations of space. H_edge traverses the boundaries of mathematics, art, architecture and engineering.
The project exists on three levels: the mathematical-geometric, the architectural-spatial and the structural-tectonic. H_edge is based on a cubic fractal tiling of space known as the Menger Sponge. The geometric matrix of this sponge is modular and self-similar, offering positive and negative space at embedded scales. This binary tiling is deployed at three different scales, which create spatial conditions that relate to the scale of the human body. These are named cave, trench, and path.
Tectonically, the tiling is achieved through the use of two modular units: the leaf and the chain-link, which interlock to form a suspended network of reciprocal load-paths. The staggering of the plates along the chain in four directions ensures that no plate touches another and that the chain is pre-stressed to form a rigid load-path. H_edge and the Fourier Carpet are binary systems, understandable as ordered series of 0 and 1 digits in three- and two-dimensional mathematical space. They both demonstrate how number systems can be used to describe, control and inform geometric complexity.