Plexus by Studio Symbiosis is a parametric pavilion that can be built in 1000+ ways

Designed to curb the wastage resulting from discarded trade fair stalls, Plexus draws inspiration for its amorphous frame from the lattice-like body of a Venus flower basket.

by Jincy Iype Published on : Feb 15, 2021

Ever wondered what happens to stalls after a trade fair, food festivals, or brand exhibition at events? More often than not, these are taken down, its scaffolding and fabric wrapped up to be rehashed at another time or location, or thrown away; it is usually the latter in the case of big exhibitors who would like to display new stalls for themselves at various locations, with different, fresher looks. So much production is wasted regarding various parts of booths being discarded this way, and no one really talks about this consumption, and how it impacts the environment.

  • Plexus is a design solution to curb wastage resulting from discarded trade fair stalls | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    Plexus is a design solution to curb wastage resulting from discarded trade fair stalls Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis
  • The amorphous frame is inspired by the latticed body of a Venus flower basket | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    The amorphous frame is inspired by the latticed body of a Venus flower basket Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis

Studio Symbiosis offers a design solution with Plexus, an “iterative plug and play system” to curb this wastage. A pavilion that can be built in as many as 1000 various ways, Plexus draws inspiration for its amorphous frame from nature (as with all their other projects), from the lattice-like body of a Venus flower basket. An MDF prototype was executed as part of ‘Symbiotic Ecologies’, a five-day computational design workshop held in the Faculty of Architecture and Planning-AKTU, Lucknow, in northern India.

  • An MDF prototype was completed by Studio Symbiosis for a workshop | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    An MDF prototype was completed by Studio Symbiosis for a workshop Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis
  • Britta inside one of the perforated prototypes | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    Britta inside one of the perforated prototypes Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis

“Plexus is designed as an intricate network, whereby a series of simple components, based on aggregation principles, can result in a new design of the display booth for every exhibition, and also a new brand image. Designed as a universal model, this system can adapt to nonstandard stall sizes and to a differentiated product range,” say Britta Knobel Gupta and Amit Gupta, Founding Partners, Studio Symbiosis, a studio based in India and Germany.

1 mins watch An MDF prototype was completed by Studio Symbiosis for a workshop | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
An MDF prototype was completed by Studio Symbiosis for a workshop Video: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis

Plexus is made of two components, a series of nodes and connectors that follow aggregation principles, leading to an impressive catalogue of more than 1000 different ways to build it, according to use and design. Each one has two open entries, with one simple module repeating itself to form the perforated body of the pavilion.

1 mins watch Many iterations provide fresher ways of building Plexus | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
Many iterations provide fresher ways of building Plexus Video: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis
  • An MDF prototype was completed by Studio Symbiosis for a workshop | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    Variant 1-35 Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis
  • An MDF prototype was completed by Studio Symbiosis for a workshop | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    Variant 36-70 Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis

The design team relays that the prototype’s sustainable design system is based on the principal of a cellular automata model. “Cellular automata are mathematical models designed to construct the complexity of natural systems displayed in diverse naturally occurring phenomenon. This complexity model consists of simple systems resulting in dynamic field behaviour when interacting with each other,” they explain. 

  • Plexus can be built under 48 hours | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    Plexus can be built under 48 hours Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis
  • Plexus - detail | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    Plexus - detail Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis

Plexus has been designed keeping in mind that during shows, the participants usually get less than 48 hours to put up their display booth. Therefore, the parametric assembly can be flat packed into boxes for easy transportation and is designed to be installed with minimal help, on site or in parts beforehand. Imagine setting these up as temporary food stalls during disasters, for interactive brand presentations or as an edgy photo booth in a college fair. The possibilities are generous and endless.

  • Form Development | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    Form Development Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis
  • Aggregation - explained | Plexus by Studio Symbiosis | STIRworld
    Aggregation - explained Image: Courtesy of Studio Symbiosis

Project Details
Name: Plexus
Location: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Area: 60 sqm
Built up area: 15 sqm
Program: Installation, MDF Prototype
Scope: Architecture, Interior, Landscape
Design: Studio Symbiosis (Amit Gupta, Britta Knobel Gupta)
Project Lead: Kartik Misra, Dewesh Agrawal, Vedant Sangal
Design Team: Anjan Mondal, Aditya Sharma

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