AE Superlab.
A Collaborative Cross-Disciplinary Design Studio
Levitate_02_cropped.jpg

Levitate

PROJECT YEAR: 2014-Ongoing
TEAM: Ahmed ElHusseiny/AE Superlab.
CLIENT: AE SUPERLAB.

LEVITATE is a series of free floating (levitating) sculptural objects. Drawing inspiration from a wide array of sources as disparate as Buckminster Fuller’s visions of floating, airborne habitats (eg. Cloud Nine), to  contemporary kite-making, the objects are an exploration of perceived mass, occupied volume,recursive geometry, and objective lightness. The fabrication of the sculptures is a precise undertaking, occupying a place at the intersection of art, design, technology and engineering. Complex and customized three dimensional joints are fabricated using 3D printers, and go through an iterative process of rapid prototyping and improvement. 
The realization of LEVITATE involves a number of processes in areas central to AE Superlab’s work: a rapid iterative design process, extensive materials research, innovative engineering solutions employing cutting edge CAD/CAM/3D prototyping/fabrication, and a strong and clear aesthetic vision.
The concept images are conceived as stand-alone visual explorations that while accurately depicting the scale of the sculptures in relation to a dense urban context, also serve to question conventional perceptions of volume, weightlessness, and negative space.
The absence of any people in all of the images of typically bustling New York City locations serves to suggest an uneasy sense of “imbalance” and “out of place-ness” amplified by the unlikely spectacle of such large volumes so improbably floating in space. The desolate photographs were achieved by shooting over a hundred frames of each location, then carefully overlaying the frames selecting only the un-peopled portions of each frame for the final composite image.