Gravity Screen

Omar Khan

Gravity Screen ( is a surface construction whose morphology results from gravity’s effect on its material patterning. It is composed from two elastomers of different Shore hardness that take an organized form when the screen is hung. Rubber’s elasticity and high weight to volume ratio make it particularly problematic as a self-supporting material. However, the compounded effect of excessive weight on a stretchable material results in it stiffening. By crisscrossing hard and soft rubbers, Gravity Screen uses this property to create a controlled stretch. The hard rubber acts as a cross brace to the soft rubber, creating a changing surface weave that has structural properties. Traditionally, screens use modularity to maintain pattern continuity so that when they are repeated the module literally reflects the collective. Gravity Screen’s modules have more nuances since their individual behavior affect not only the look of the entire screen but its structural and formal properties. In this regard, its 6”x24” modules behave as a network structure whose monolithic behavior is an effect of rubber’s variable properties in response to gravity.

The screen’s half arch design exhibits one formal variation of this type of building system. Divided into columns each module has the same depth (numbers of rubber layers) with different barcode pours. These pours iteratively go from thin to wide along the structure’s surface to create the semi-arch form. The resulting tight and loose hexagonal patterns on the module faces negotiate material tensions and ease into their final shape with the assistance of gravity. Screens as a system for spatial differentiation are inherently flexible. Their ingenuity lies in the fact that they are deployable; there when needed removed when not. But what if disappearance was the last resort? What if the screen could adapt itself to a variety of configurations facilitating new spatial interactions? Such a system is easily plausible for Gravity Screen whose material makeup can accommodate a variety of shapes.