Easysteel pipes up with support for urban mutation

A promising young architect's artistic vision of a future urban Auckland has been bought to life with the help of 130 steel pipes donated by Easysteel.

Auckland University fifth-year student Liam Stumbles used the Easysteel pipes to form the steel structure for his artwork 'Urban Mutation', which is a part of his Master of Architecture research project.

'Urban Mutation' explores the complex relationship between the city and the global environmental crisis. It brings to life the idea of a future Auckland in which typical stand-alone buildings have given way to a new era of complex, open-system architecture developed in a future with a climate-sensitive environment.

"The project was a success and the steel structure turned out to be even better than expected," says Liam, who researched the potential of advanced technologies, 3D printing, unmanned aerial drones, and climatology for the design and theory of this project.

The pipes, cut to different lengths were fitted onto 55, 3D-printed joints to form a support structure for the image plane.

The image plane is fixed on top of the structure and curves in multiple directions around the observer, creating different perspectives that provide an immersive and shifting view of the city.

Thanks to the use of computer and 3D-printer technology, the complex nature of such a structure allowed Liam to create his vision without the need for measurements, construction drawings, or experienced builders.

"Easysteel is proud to have supported this amazing work of sculpture by Liam Stumbles of Auckland University," says Steel Distribution Head of Marketing Neil Watson.

"Supporting young New Zealand artists is part of our brand positioning as a supporter of the arts in New Zealand. It is always pleasing to see new talent emerging and Liam's innovative use of steel as the frame for his work has generated a lot of interest within Easysteel."

As a nod to Liam's great work, 'Urban Mutation' was selected as a finalist at the 2016 NZ Institute of Architect's (NZIA) Central Innovation Student Design Awards – an annual event that brings together the top four students from each of New Zealand's three schools of architecture (University of Auckland, Unitec, and Victoria University of Wellington).

The judges praised the art work highly, calling the project "courageous" for suggesting "radical and futuristic ways in which cities might be reformed, manipulated and reinvented" and commending Liam for the "depth of his thinking" and his construction of a bespoke work that "shifts the viewer through both time and perspective".

Liam's work has also been selected as part of a permanent display in the school office of the University of Auckland's Architecture and Planning building for 2017, and has been invited to be one of four projects exhibited at the Four Futures exhibition at Auckland's George Fraser Gallery in April.


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