German architect Jurgen Mayer H has leapt into international prominence in recent years, thanks to a series of striking public buildings, beginning with the layered Stadthaus in Ostfildern, Germany. Mayer’s forms are unapologetically digital, with sinuous curves and crystal-like growths that turn each structure into a render made real. We spoke to him about one of his ongoing preoccupations; pattern.
Wallpaper*: Tell us what’s on your drawing board right now.
Jurgen Mayer H: I’ve been working with data protection patterns. They’re a form of contemporary ornament, but also a metaphor for how we deal with privacy and data.
W*: How do the patterns translate into form?
JMH: They play with the idea between text and architecture - we’re always searching for a contemporary pattern language. These forms are not a pattern language, but contemporary found objects.
W*: Can you then apply the patterns you create to architecture?
JMH: At Venice we have a wallpaper in the Italian pavilion. It’s designed to neutralize the space once you’ve enter the pavilion before you get to the exhibits. The paper is printed in neon colours with four different patterns. Ideally, they start to become three dimensional objects.
W*: So do you collect the patterns?
JMH: Yes. I have maybe 300 different patterns, some derived from logos, some from camouflage. I’ve researched it and the process was invented around 1900, deriving from the printing process - also the way carbon paper allows you to layer text and form upon itself until it becomes illegible.