ranke
generative bookshelves
(2008)
concept for a generative bookshelf




A generatively created bookshelf, which adapts to the setting of a room. As part of the structure, it reuses the existent cardboard wrapping in which books come if ordered online.

The bookshelf is composed of two components: Firstly, a wall mounted carrier runner with lamellas and, secondly, customised single slipcases to hold the books. These may be easily fixed on the actual bookshelf providing the books with adequate footing.

Two different software applications were designed to generate the blueprints for the individual components. A path-trace algorithm ensures the creation of an organic shape of the bookshelf, which is adapted to the individual room setting. The existent book collection determines the length of the bookshelf. It is also possible to define the starting point of the shelf and its rough direction within the software.

Via the entry of the ISBN, a second application generates the blueprints of the cardboard slipcases, which are adjusted to the size of the books. These slipcases are created out of the existent book wrapping as used for shipping.

Thus a tool kit is provided, facilitating the creation of individualized bookshelves using a laser cutter or a digital milling machine. It is also possible to integrate this process into a book mail-order service via the internet, where the customer would receive the individual components required for the shelf together with the book to his home.

The project evolved while thinking together with Sebastian Schmieg and Korbinian Polk about the new possibilities of digital fabrication methods.

past exhibitions
Museum of Modern Art Kiasma, Helsinki
Le Deco Gallery, Tokyo
DesignMai, Berlin

c.2008