"Reef"

This exhibition at Storefront for Art and Architecture brought together architects Rob Ley and Joshua Stein to design "Reef."

By Storefront for Art and Architecture Archive

In "Reef," Rob Ley and Joshua Stein create a familiar organic form out of a carefully calibrated system that collides both architecture and technology.

"Reef" behaves as an active member in a complex social environment.

The technology which is embedded into "Reef" has an inscribed personality. Its behavior blurs the line between plant and animal, animate and inanimate object.

Reef: Exhibition Photos by Rob Ley and Joshua SteinStorefront for Art and Architecture Archive

The wall is covered in thin plastic surfaces modeled after fins. Controlling the fins, a thin wire made of shape-memory alloy acts as a muscle to release and contract the surface like the petals of a flower. Shape-memory alloy, a mixture of titanium and nickel, is temperature responsive.

Individual parts operate in clusters yet appear as one unified system.

The motion of the "Reef" is meant to appear as “ambient.” The system creates a texture rather than an opaque wall in the space of the gallery.

Reef: Exhibition Photos by Rob LeyStorefront for Art and Architecture Archive

Ley and Stein consider "Reef" a piece of architecture that conjures a different set of emotions or feelings than typically experienced in the built environment.

The motion of gears and hydraulics has a tendency to immediately reveal the mechanical nature of an object. In the case of "Reef," shape-memory alloy allows for fluid motion of the fins.

Ley and Stein's collaboration is an investigation of emerging material technologies and the role of architecture in the creation of public space.

Reef: Exhibition Photos by Rob Ley and Joshua SteinStorefront for Art and Architecture Archive

Reef - A Responsive Architectural Installation Rob Ley (Urbana) & Joshua G. Stein (Radical Craft) by Rob Ley (Urbana) and Joshua G. Stein (Radical Craft)Storefront for Art and Architecture Archive

Credits: Story

For more information about Reef, please visit:
- Exhibition Photos
- Webpage

This Google Arts and Culture exhibit is curated by Parker Limón.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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