framemag_Tessel - LAb[au]

design online magazine by Frame publisher

article by: Lydia Parafianowicz

Tessel, kinetic light art installation
by David Letellier & LAb[au]

A kinetic installation that's able to investigate the perception of sound and space, Tessel is made of mosaic square tiles that merge science and art with mathematics.

The installation's design is based on the 'pinwheel pattern,' a tiling discovered by mathematicians Charles Radin and John Conway. In this pattern, an infinitely complex geometry can be made from a single 'seed,' found in a right triangle, which can be transposed into a 3D form.

Inspired by this idea, David Letellier and the team at Lab[au] suspended an installation of 40 triangular mirrors. The piece contains 12 triangles fitted with motors and eight with audio transducers, resulting in a sonic product.

As elements in the room change, so too does Tessel, which represents a dialogue between space and sound as its surface modifies shape.

Rooted in the Latin 'tessella', the name of the installation is based on the multiple meanings of the word. In a geometric sense, 'tessellation' means to divide a surface into units. It can also describe a software technique that allows for the calculation of renderings by dividing surfaces into polygons.


Tessel is a co-production between the galleries MediaRuimte in Brussels and Roger Tator in Lyon.

LAb[au] is the Laboratory for Architecture and Urbanism. A group of artists based in Brussels, Belgium, they work to examine the influences of advanced technologies, methods, forms and content of art.

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