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Design Miami 2016 Entrance: The World's Largest 3D Printed Structure

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The term "flotsam and jetsam" usually refers to useless, discarded debris. But soon it’ll also be the name of the Guinness World Records’ largest 3D printed structure. Printed using biodegradable bamboo, the 1,781-square-foot structure will serve as a public plaza at the entrance to this year’s Design Miami fair in December.

Designers at SHoP Architects were inspired by two of Miami’s qualities – one evident, one latent. The city's spirit of play is represented in the design by a relocated landscape that mimics the beach, while the structure itself references the city’s emerging function as a center for creative visioning and technological discovery. Basically, the architects are communicating that Miami is a place of both work and play.

“You have to ask what’s the least amount of material we can use to make something that’s optimized for the structure. 3D printing has no geometric limitations in that sense, so we were able to go after this amorphic sculptural form,” Rebecca Caillouet, a senior associate at SHoP, told 3ders.org.

The entrance to Design Miami, whose tent pops up across from Art Basel in a Miami Beach Convention Center parking lot each year, has come to be just as anticipated as the works inside it. Past years have seen giant inflatable columns by Snarkitecture, a mountain of sand by Formlessfinder, and a serene, colorful circle by Jonathan Muecke.

The shape of the 2016 record-breaking structure mirrors that of a jellyfish, with sinuous golden arches hovering over guests. But the structure is not just for aesthetics; guests will be able to sit on parts of it too.

The structure’s unique design was recently awarded the Panerai Design Miami Visionary Award, celebrating those who have made significant contributions to the field of design. SHoP is being recognized for “its bold, evocative architecture, philanthropic initiatives, sustainable development, and innovative practices/entrepreneurship,” a Design Miami statement explains.

If you miss the entrance during Miami Art Week, don't worry — it's not going far. After its debut in December, the installation will move to its more permanent location in the Miami Design District’s Jungle Plaza.

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