David Umemoto’s scaled down Brutalist city scapes

Art Design International Newsletter
(Courtesy David Umemoto)

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

Based in Montreal, architect and sculptor David Umemoto has created a number of Brutalist cubic volumes and sculptures.

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

The forms, which derive from Brutalist principles, have been amalgamated in one work as part of a three-dimensional tessellating cube. When disassembled, the forms clearly resemble architectural elements and spaces.

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

They can then be rearranged in any manner of compositions to create a series of both additive and subtractive volumes. Subsequently, Umemoto has repeated this process in some cases to generate modular city-scapes.

Speaking of his work, Umemoto said: “This scalable modular building system is based on the theory that there is a universal order. Molecules, cycles, ecosystems, the order is the norm and chaos an accident.”

“Everything is connected, organized and structured; it is only a matter of place, time and scale. Thus, we can speak of a cellular system rather than modular elements that not only can be interchanged but also transformed. They obey rules in a rigid frame but with an organic development.”

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

In terms of process, the forms were created by Umemoto as reliefs using styrofoam as a placeholder for the concrete. Here the concrete, when wet, inhibits the space left within the styrofoam and once dry, can simply be removed to reveal the negative of the styrofoam form.

Umemoto hasn’t just used this technique for volumetric purposes, either. In one instance, a pattern using a more complex array of curves was carved onto a styrofoam sheet and impressed onto the concrete.

“The work is an exploration of the patterns and codes, sometimes obvious, sometimes obscure, that govern our environment,” said Umemoto.

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

(Courtesy David Umemoto)

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