Builders seeking fresh approaches to how they design and construct habitats might find an exhilarating breath of fresh air by looking at the modular geometrical works of Gregg Fleishman. Fleishman’s work includes playgrounds, sculptures and plenty of thought-provoking examples for modular housing and furniture. As he states on his website, his mission is to “continue developing ways to make building easier. Bringing a natural order back into building.
Fleishman’s work reveals the influence of Buckminster Fuller, developer of the geodesic dome. “A key feature of Bucky’s work was geometry,” writes Fleishman. “This work follows that thread.”
Mr. Fleishman is a curious amalgam of “architect, designer, artist and inventor whose work is largely informed by geometry and functionality.” But he has not put any of his theoretical structural and material ideas into practice building a house or building. He waits for others to take that lead.
In 1970 Fleishman earned an architectural degree at the University of Southern California. He studied with Konrad Wachsmann, famous for his structures illustrated in his book The Turning Point of Building including the prefabricated house developed with Walter Gropius.
Fleishman’s innovative architectural structures express both modern and futuristic aesthetics and have been featured in articles by the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Much of the prefabricated work he displays has been assembled without nails or screws. Instead, he uses integral slots and notches, even employing wood springs and wood hinges. He holds several patents for his designs. His SCULPT C H A I R S, in collections ay the New York Museum of Modern Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Art Institute of Chicago, are assembled using this technology.
Fleishman has coined the term Rhombicube referring to a diamond panel form which is distilled out of a 3-D checkerboard of cubes. As he puts it, “The various truncations of the Rhombicube form the orthogonal variations of Archimedean solids. The assembly of these solids in various configurations form the geometrical basis for his Shelter Systems.” His SCULPT C H A I R S and Shelter Systems are all cut out from flat sheet material and European birch.
He says he was largely influenced by his early work experience in the construction industry. It sparked his philosophical side, as well, stating that his modular work provides a way to be green in architecture, one that focuses on process in building both in and beyond the factory. The geometric forms he loves allow for design repetition, while providing greater structural efficiency, manufacturing economies, easier handling, less specialized work force, and lower start up costs.
“What distinguishes this geometry is that it excludes the pentagon, instead focusing generally on the cube and the octagon, more specifically variations of a 3D checkerboard of cubes or “rhombicubes”. When oriented in different ways, these cubes have provided for a veritable bouquet of new and different building types to sprout up using faceted geometrical faces that can provide a new and more natural look and feel to our buildings, with visible joinery illustrating the simple means of construction and assembly fostering more interactivity for the user and a sense of creativity and unlimited possibilities, redefining structures in playful expressions of geometrical harmony.”