Want to witness architecture come alive? Now you can with Philip Beesley’s Meander, the largest living architecture sculpture in the world, which is permanently on display at Tapestry Hall in Cambridge, Ontario.
This artwork comes to life thanks to embedded computers and sensor arrays that “sense, react, and learn from [the] environment and the behaviour of [the] audiences.” These components constantly transfer data within the sculpture, causing the structures to respond to visitors with motion, light, and sound.
Meander is comprised of a lightweight and flexible structure intertwined with lattices of metal and recycled transparent polymer. It creates an icy, ethereal effect as it hangs from the ceiling of Tapestry Hall. The space that houses the piece sits along the Grand River, the ecosystem that inspired the artwork.
Commissioned by HIP Developments in partnership with the City of Cambridge, Meander serves to inspire and transform the community.
“The Grand River reminds us how we built the region’s industry and prosperity, but it can also teach us how to prosper in the future,” says Scott Higgins, President of HIP Developments. “This sculpture, and our river, can be seen as a metaphor for nature’s networks and how to think, design, and problem solve in today’s complex, turbulent, and interconnected world.”
Meander’s message is more important than ever during the pandemic. “If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we are all interconnected and interdependent,” states Beesley, the artist behind the work and an architecture professor at the University of Waterloo.
“While the urge may be strong in these challenging days to put up boundaries and retreat into our individual silos, to do so inevitably weakens society. It is only through embracing joyful and curious openness and exchange that we can sustainably address challenges moving forward.”
For more about Meander, visit its website, Instagram, or Facebook. For more by Philip Beesley, visit his website.
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