Innovation That Matters

A collaboration between artists and 3D-printing company WASP, The House of Dust encourages people to think about the past and future of technology | Photo source WASP

3D-printed liveable sculpture opens for sleepovers

Architecture & Design

A 3D-printed sculpture at the Museum of Wiesbaden allows guests to spend the night

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Spotted: Italian 3D-printing company WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) specialises in printing houses and other large structures from a mixture of earth and natural fibres. Their latest project, The House of Dust, is an artwork that doubles as a mini-B&B. The structure is one of 10 temporary sculptures featured at the Museum of Wiesbaden’s tinyBE: Living in a sculpture exhibition.

This is not the first iteration of The House of Dust. It began in 1967 as a poem created using a computer. Artists Alison Knowles and James Tenney programmed the computer to write a poem by, “working through iterations of verses” using word lists that describe attributes of houses. The resulting poem read, in part, “A house of dust / on open ground / lit by natural light / inhabited by friends and enemies”. The poem was turned into a physical structure and ended up in Cal Arts Burbank, California, where Knowles taught classes. 

Fast forward to 2021, and Knowles developed a new iteration of the artwork in the form of a 3D-printed structure. The 16-square metre (172 square ft) sculpture is designed for two occupants to sleep overnight. It was printed using WASPs Crane printer for over 50 hours. The printer laid down 165 layers of natural material made up from raw earth and biowaste. 

A maximum of two guests can spend either a day or night inside The House of Dust or the other sculptures in the exhibit, starting at €166 (US$195) per couple. WASP explained the sculpture as a way to explore new ways of living, saying, “The transformation of ways of living and working in a world influenced by globalisation, digitisation and climate change is one of the central themes of our time. Sleeping one night inside The House of Dust sculpture opens the mind to new forms of living.” 

Springwise has covered the progress of WASP in 3D-printing structures, from its early days in 2015 to more recent projects, but WASP is not alone in using 3D-printing to construct entire buildings. Innovations in this space including a 3D-printed school and printed floating work pods. WASP is more unique, however, in focusing on printing entirely with natural materials. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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