Konrad Wachsmann (1901 Frankfurt/Oder - 1980 Los Angeles) was a German architect and engineer living in the USA. Wachsmann is widely considered as a pioneer of modular connection and construction systems with a special focus on universal construction processes. Wachsmann also taught at the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago, where in 1953 he and his students invented a construction element inspired by the vine tendril. Due possibly to its non-realizability, this hypothetical architectural design - titled Grapevine Structure - did not receive much attention for a long time.
Considering the high level of abstraction in the Grapevine Structure, the question remains to be answered whether Wachsmann and his students ever planned this particular design as a real architectural structure. Or is this structure without joints perhaps a metaphorical reference to the neuronal network of interpersonal relationships and its reciprocal impulse to manifest the transience of human action in the form of architecture?
Smoke a Grid like Grapevine does takes this utopian moment of Konrad Wachsmann's Grapevine Structure as a point of departure for a group exhibition beyond architectural paradigms. It establishes vice-versa connections to Wachsmann, enables artistic interventions and in this process repeatedly creates connection points whose junctions disappear again as quickly as the smoke of a Tareyton cigarette.
Konrad Wachsmann Project Part 1 curated by Ulrike Flaig, Tommy Støckel, Jaro Straub and Tim Tetzner