Behind the surfaces

«Behind the Surfaces» deals with the non-contact measurement of surfaces using digital photogrammetry. From cumulus clouds and anthropogenic smoke clouds to weathered stones and concrete chunks of demolished houses. In a series of experiments, this Master-thesis addresses a relevant context of contemporary design: What artisanal, technical and narrative possibilities the digital moulding of complex structures enables? In this way, the work makes an intelligent and design-based contribution to the sustainable use of resources by giving new value to found forms and materials.

Using fragments of building rubble from a recycling yard, Matthias Maurer explored how he can capture their surfaces three-dimensionally using photogrammetric techniques. With the help of 3D-printed and milled connecting pieces, which can only be produced with the help of these 3D scans, he tries to integrate the fragments into new functional structures. Is it possible in this way to sketch out a path towards the design of everyday objects that shows that alternative resources are taken into account alongside standardized raw materials such as rods and sheet material? Assuming that natural resources can no longer be exploited as they have been in the past, we may have to get used to the fact that reusing anthropogenic raw materials can be more complex and time-consuming than the conventional production of goods. Photogrammetry could act as an enabler to integrate heterogeneous surfaces of existing structures into digital planning and design processes. In this way, it may contribute to a design that becomes aware of anthropogenic material resources that otherwise lie fallow.

All images by Matthias Maurer

Matthias Maurer
Studio Integrative Design
Mentors: Dr. Ralf Michel, Prof. Heinz Wagner

Photo by Claudia Klein
About Matthias

Matthias has been living in Basel since 2015. During his Master’s studies he worked as a freelancer in art educat­ion, scenography, and as a project coach at the FHNW. The Masterstudio’s self­image as an interdisciplinary institut is what attracted him to study here. At the time of his gradua­ tion he is working as a student trainee in dialogic urban development.

Reference links

Masterstudio Design

Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW
Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst
Institut Integrative Gestaltung | Masterstudio
Freilager-Platz 1
CH-4002 Basel

T +41 61 228 40 66
F +41 61 467 48 85

«Masterstudio Design» is a space of experimentation, discourse, and production of the Institute Integrative Design at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design.