Case Study:

‘People Wood’ 3D Printed Infosculpture for Something and Son


The Brief

Manor House Development Trust, a charitable social enterprise centred in Hackney, commissioned Something & Son to create a sculpture to take pride of place in the new Redmond Community Centre at Woodbury Down in North-East Hackney. Something & Son approached Inition for help creating a crowd-sourced data sculpture featuring a forest of over 400 3D-printed trees, each corresponding to an individual’s answers to an online questionnaire.

  • 3d printing
  • 3d printing infosculpture
  • 3d printed trees for data visualisation
  • 3d printing technology data visualisation

Our Solution

From the start, this artwork has been a vehicle for innovation and is the first time that online data has been transformed into a 3D printed sculpture.

Inition’s creatives developed bespoke software in order to map the collected data to the tree ‘growing’ process. The online questionnaire asked residents questions about their social lives, about how long they had lived in the Manor House area and how often they interacted with their neighbours. Answers to these questions were used by Inition to determine various aspects of each tree’s physical appearance, for example:

Diversity of origin = Roundness of tree trunk and branches

Years lived in the Manor House area = Length of the branches

Interaction with neighbours = Spread of the trees branches

Overall sense of happiness = Bushiness of the tree

The colour of the branch tips signifies the individual’s overall sense of community, the stronger this is gauged to be, the more fruit the tree will bear- resulting in brighter tips.

The collected data was transformed into over 400 trees, all of which were printed in-house at Inition on our ZPrinter450.

To complete the sculpture the printed trees were sent to the Redmond Community Centre where they were hung upside down from a wire grid modelled on the local topography.

The Results

The complete sculpture has now been installed at the Redmond Community Centre where it will remain permanently as a reminder of the flourishing community that the centre serves. Counter to the usual data representation of communities as large aggregated data sets and trends, the subtleties of the sculpture bring complex, personal data to life in a sculptural form.