Still Life for the Futility of Architecture
We found the inspiration in the Vanitas still life paintings by Dutch masters and set about creating a digital version of such works as our project. The very human concepts of status, ego, and the futility of preserving one’s legacy through material means intrigued us. Being architects, we could see the futile fascination in creating something lasting in the form of buildings. Thus, we set out to create a memento mori for ourselves.
We started by finding the right reference images to emulate and settled on a still life with fruit by Caravaggio. Next, we modelled facsimiles of the fruit in the painting and made molds of them to cast in cement. Once the cement models were complete, we scanned them with the Trnio 3D scanning app to produce textured 3D meshes. After that we proceeded to corrode the cement with vinegar and scanned the resulting deformed objects.
In addition to physical corrosion, we wanted our Vanitas to feature digital corrosion, so we made a simulation by referencing the cement corrosion we created and various moulds we found online. We did this by creating scripts that used attractor points to either deform or color the various fruit meshes. The parameters that we could change were the position and distance of the attractor points in relation to the mesh face vertices. In addition to this the extent of the digital mould can be controlled.