That object you see above isn't a box made of McDonald's coffee stirrers by a meth addict. Nope, "Shadow Cloud" was fabricated using 3-D printing, and it hides a bit of clever magic: Those little panels in the grid seem random, but they actually align at certain angles, thus creating distinct 2-D patterns. Three separate patterns, in fact.
Which means that when you shine a line through the thing, it creates three separate shadows. Prepare to be amazed:
For obvious reasons, that particular piece is called "Thru Religion," and it was created by Drzach & Suchy--it makes perfect sense that the duo has a grad-level background in architecture (that's Drzach) and crytopgraphy (Suchy).
It goes without saying that if not for 3-D modeling and rapid prototyping, this thing would be essentially impossible to make, unless some monk dedicated years to the effort. Instead, it's a computer model that you pop into the rapid-prototyping machine, and emerges a few hours later.
We can't wait to see how Drzach & Suchy extend and apply the idea. They tell Co.Design that they're working on a larger installation that will display an entire three-word message (you can see a version of that idea at :40 of the video above.) And they're also considering using tiny solar panels as building blocks (similar to this project)--"so that the clouds can spin using its own energy," as they tell us.
The mind races: You can imagine all sorts of cool objects, ranging from lampshades to full-blown furniture--imagine a chair that casts a shadow of another, different chair, or a dining table that casts shadows of delicious bacon, duck or ice cream, depending on the time of day. Which reminds us, we should go eat breakfast.