Visionary applied geometer Ron Resch, who passed away in 2012, is the subject of the incredible documentary embedded above, that, while by no means new (it was produced back in the grainy days of 1970) seemed worth posting here. Over the course of its more than 40 minutes of mind-altering geometry and material experimentation, we watch Resch unfold, stretch, expand and play with a mind-boggling wizardry of handmade models that seem to be blink in and out of the ordinary world.
Less structures, in a sense, than experimental prototypes anticipating some of the advanced geometric models of today's most high-powered graphics packages, Resch's models were supremely functional, spatially bewildering, and totally, totally awesome.
In many ways it seems oddly short-sighted of the world that Resch's work would, in the end, be most remarkable for resembling children's toys — from folding snakes to Rubik's cubes — rather than kicking off a brave new world of weird, inter-dimensional furniture and shapeshifting buildings that Resch's work implied would be only a few years away.
A Reschian city of expanding arches and pinched, fractal canopies, where walls become structures and whole neighborhoods are just by-products of massive contraptions, would be a delirious thing to live within, and Resch himself always had his eye on the architectural implications of his work.
In the film embedded above, for example, he describes a waffled, geometrically complex surface that, when combined with sound-absorbing materials, would make an ideal acoustic wall for dampening sound and enhancing privacy. Resch himself was constantly working on new forms of self-supporting origami that might someday pass for buildings.
In any case, the whole film is worth watching — but get yourself a stack of paper before you begin, because you'll be itching to fold your own mathematical shapes and infinite surfaces in no time. [Vimeo]