A VR-installation in which design patterns sourced from a generative design process form a landscape. Project for Muthesius Parallax, an exhibition format initiated with Matylda Krzykowski. Photography: Jan-Simon Weidner.

Visitors can »walk through« the installation by using one of the controllers. They jump to a point in space which is marked by a green wireframe cylinder (see picture below). It is also possible to climb the items. The installation was realized with the help of Caroline Nölle using the gaming software unreal engine.

Design Pattern by Annika Frye 02

(The additional screen was only used because of the poor quality of the projection)

What if we could dive into the design process? In the installation ‘Design Patterns’, Annika Frye takes up the idea for a native language by Christopher Alexander. The theorist had developed his design method in his dissertation, ‘Notes on the Synthesis of Form’ in 1962 at MIT to make complex design problems manageable. He divided design problems into systems and subsystems, which in turn were represented by structural diagrams, the patterns. These same patterns in turn could be linked to new forms in different contexts. Christopher Alexander’s design method, inspired by cybernetics, anticipated the principles of generative design. ‘The Pattern Language’ achieved some recognition in the Design Methods Movement. Until today it is a canonical part of design education.

As digital pre-products, however, the forms developed by Annika Frye with the Grasshopper algorithm editor remain virtual. The virtual landscape shows the almost infinite possibilities of combining and recombining patterns in virtual space, and makes a certain unmanageability, which especially characterises generative design, spatially perceptible. All forms can always be further developed, combined or changed in an unfinished process.

Materials: VR-glasses, sensors and gaming computer; digitally printed needle felting, wooden frame, paper background, digital projection.