3099 Lightness Studios, 2007

Ed van Hinte

Lightness Studios is a foundation with the aim to explore innovative ideas for light constructions. With the emphasis on light weight, we developed radical proposals of lightness models in several scenarios. These scenarios show a selection of elements that are developed in dummies, models, prototypes and animations which were presented on symposia and exhibitions. Light constructions require minimal effort and low energy usage in transportation. This led us to design modular constructions made of hollow elements. These hollow casings can be filled up on site, with sand that from the construction pit itself. Fashioning lightweight buildings demands technological developments with integrated, interchangeable functions and clever use of materials. Light also indicates flexibility. What does this mean for architecture? A few possibilities are: adjustable houses that can change on demand, floating neighborhoods, parts of buildings that can be added to a basic construction in a later stage. This last example could be a solution for homeowners who are facing economic headwinds, but who want to expand when they can finance their annex. The temporality and flexibility that is gained with lightweight constructions, expands the scope of architecture on many levels. To explore these two notions, we made spacial models out of textile and investigated the possibility of vertical cities in line drawings. The drawings show tower cranes that become city planners in a vertical framework. Here, the machines perform as builders of lightweight houses that the cranes move into position high up in the sky, attaching them to scaffolding or their own bodies. Housing clusters soon mushroom into a city. At this point the tower cranes have become entwined with the skycity's nucleus. We can think these are futurist or surrealist ideas, but stretching reality and making it more elastic does lead to new possibilities that haven't been explored yet.