Dominik Einfalt

The Power of Eight

From Octaves to Da Vinci

After the square and round tower try-out, we tried to build in an Octagonal shape. Finally we had succes! Apart from it being the right shape to keep the bricks together, the number 8 also became an important symbol for the whole Myco-Assemblage project.


Designs for a central church Leonardo Da Vinci - Leonardo Da Vinci

The octagonal shape fits this project because the Myco-Assemblage is way more than a tower. It is the cycle of the Tower, the Tower decomposes into soil, the soil turns into fertilizer and from this soil eventually, grains will grow. Out of the grain, new bricks will be made to grow mushrooms. And after the mushrooms are harvested we can use the mycelium bricks again, to build a new tower. 

What is a fitting number for these cycles, these circles? What can we use? In Christianity, the number eight is always the number for a circle or for something new. For instance in weeks, the 8th day of a week is actually the new week, it is the first day of this new Cycle. In music as well, one-octave exists out of eight notes as the name already suggests, but the eighth note is already the first note for the next octave. The eight as the start of the new circle. Above all that, the infinity symbol is also an eight on its side.

As this number fits the cycle of our project, we decided to use it as a symbol, and to see if we could use the octagonal shape to build. We learned that we should first check if it is commonly used in architecture, to proof that it is a strong method. 

We found quite a lot of architectural examples for using an octagonal shape, especially in old architecture. There were a lot of byzantine churches and also Leonardo Da Vinci had a few drawings from octagonal-shaped based architecture. You can actually find them all around the world, for example in the Middle East but also in Asia. Think of mosques, wells, lighthouses, Buddhist temples, tombs, forts, greenhouses, pagodas, etc... This showed us that in old cultures the octagonal shape as a building base was quite common, and that it is probably a strong method to build. 

So we thoughtt: Yes, let's do it!

We still had one problem though: our brick is rectangular shaped and we want to create an octagonal shape... How the hell are we going to achieve that?