Diamonds and Diagonals 

A popular geometry of the sixties makes a comeback

Here at Design The Bottom Line we are continually on the lookout for emerging trends in architecture and design, and we have recently spotted a new trend in that space – Diamonds and Diagonals. These geometries and patterns are everywhere in shopping centers, transportation hubs, office towers and are now migrating to building interiors.

Diagonal grids, sometimes referred to as diagrid’s, have been used in structural systems for a while due to the inherent efficiency of theses structural systems. However, what is now trending is their use in curtain walls and rain screens, and on the interior of buildings in wall patterns, furniture and fabrics. What’s behind the new trend? This decades predilection for revisiting the modernism of the 50’s and 60’s is certainly one of the reasons we are seeing this trend. However, the contemporary twist can be traced to the increasing sophistication of algorithmically based parametric modeling programs and new three-dimensional printing technologies that enable these new forms.

These technologies allow architects to break with the cartesian geometries of the past and introduce not only random geometric patterns, but also warped and curved planes – a contemporary take on the plainer surfaces used in fifties. The three-dimensional modeling programs that make this trend possible are now used throughout the entire supply chain so that fabricators can make these complex forms and geometries with slightly more effort than standard orthogonal grids.

Bottom Line: These new forms are innovative, exciting, modern, attention-getting and when used in the right context appropriate. However if the trend moves into the mainstream and these random geometries are blanketed throughout our cities, the form will stop being unique and quickly become just another over used stylistic form.

Photo Credits: Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art ; University of Sheffield, The Diamond; Rooted Store; BAXALTA

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