Boston-based experimental firm Matter Design Studio’s ‘Walking Assembly’ is a series of seemingly weightless concrete sculptures that can be rolled and moved by hand, fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle.
‘Walking Assembly’ draws inspiration from megalithic architecture and the astonishing fact that in ancient eras, humans could move 900-kilogram slabs on their own. The firm was curious to understand the physics of this, and spent years researching how archeological sites may have once been built using just human strength set against unimaginably heavy materials. The resulting project encompasses multiple pieces weighing an average of 500 kilograms, that interlock to form a wall and a little stairway. The blocks roll easily due to their curved edges, harnessing gravity once locked in place due to their handle points. Each balances on the lower center of their mass, taking very little human output as a result. “‘Walking Assembly’ re-introduces the potentials of that ancient knowledge, to better inform the transportation and assembly of future architectures,” the firm says. The project creates “the possibility for a crane-less tilt up construction method and turns our building sites into spectacles of play.”