Helena Westerlind

by helenawesterlind


My research is concerned with the material culture of architecture in which materials condition what we can do, and technology condition how we think about materials. The project investigates a newfound relationship between concrete and form with the introduction of 3D printing technology and explores the shifting role of concrete, from that of a passive material, to an active material with inherent morphogenetic tendencies. In the evolution of concrete as an architectural medium formwork pre-exists its very existence, and its dominating role in the built environment gives cause to reflect on the implications of pursuing concrete solely as a receptacle of form. The question is, what was lost in the process? 3D printing marks a fundamental shift in the handling and application of concrete that, not only, that requires us to fundamentally reconsider its materiality in terms of its composition, its physics, and logistics, but also to re-examine its function across the social, cultural and economical territories that make up our modern world.

I joined the KTH School of Architecture in September 2014 and returned to my hometown Stockholm after living many years in Madrid and London. Since graduating from the Architectural Association in 2011 I have been working with the independent art studio Factum Arte, based in Madrid, where I have been engaged in artistic research and exhibition development. Factum Arte consists of a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to the merging of digital technologies and craft in the realisation and preservation of cultural heritage and projects included the exhibition Diversi Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy & Excess and the long running research project into the polyhedral fantasies of Wenzel Jamnitzer in Perspectiva Corporum Regularium. Previously I have been working in architectural practices in Berlin and New Delhi.