The House of Dust with WASP and TinyBE

WASP together with Tinybe, has brought back to life The House of Dust, artwork of Visual Artist Alison Knowles.

external view of the house of dust
3D printed sculpture The House of Dust in front of Museum Wiesbaden
July 2021, The House of Dust in front of Wiesbaden Museum

The peculiarity is the usage of two pioneering technology each time: the first one in 1968 with a rudimentary Artifical Intelligence and now in 2021 with 3D printing earth.

The first two guests that spent a night inside the sculpture
internal view of The House of Dust
Interior view of the scultprue

The House of Dust is available to host guests, in the daytime or at the night. The interiors has been furnished with a Television and a double bed.

Here some videos of the printing process

The printer used is Crane WASP, the printer to build houses and sculpture with a mixture of earth and natural fibers.

Alison Knowles joined the event in streaming, through a Screen placed in front of the sculpture.

Nozzle: 3cm
Slicing software: Grasshopper
Sculpture area: 16 mq

Corwdfunding campaign has been a success!

TinyBE has organized a Crowdfunding campaign to support the printing of a visionary sculpture by visual artist Alison Knowles and asked us to join by providing the 3D printer.

The House of Dust is an evolving artwork that unify poetry, architecture and computer science created by Alison Knowles in 1968. Visual Artist re-proposes her masterpiece now, implementing it with the usage of a 3D printer to build the structure. The printer that it will be used to create it is our Crane WASP.

Model of the concept of The House of the dust by Alison Knowles

The habitable structure will be printed in front of the Museum Wiesbaden, if the Crowdfunding by TinyBe will reach the goal. Here you can find the button to participate in the Crowdfunding Campaign.

Alison Knowles

Alison Knowles is an american Visual Artist internationally renowned for her performances, installations and publications. Born in 1933, she was active in the downtown art scene of New York in the 1960s, collaborating with estimated artists like Marcel Duchamp. She graduated in Fine Arts at Pratt Institute and received an honor doctorate by the Institute in 2015.

Alison Knwoles in her young age
Artist Alison knowles young speaking about performance

She was a founding member of the Fluxus movement, an international network of artists that emphasize the process of making art, more than the final piece. They promote a ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude, performing in random locations and using all kind of materials to create art.

She is one of the artists that have changed the paradigm of contemporary art. Her artworks are exhibited in many prestigious museums like MOMA. Now she decided to bring to life again one of her masterpieces: The House of Dust, rethinking the building process using the latest technologies. To celebrate her contribution to the world of arts, we can help all together supporting the Crowdfunding Campaign.

Below, the interview of the Artist about her vision of the revised The House of Dust.

Alison Knowles shows the mesh of The House of Dust
Here you can see Alison now, keeping on create mesmerizing artworks.

Interview to Alison Knowles

How would you describe your artwork THE HOUSE OF DUST?

AK: My sculpture for tinyBE – living in a sculpture is the most contemporary iteration of THE HOUSE OF DUST. Generated by a computer as a poem in 1967, it was coded in FORTRAN IV on a mainframe computer with collaboration by James Tenney (Composer in Residence at Bell Labs) as one of the first computer generated poems and an early form of artificial intelligence.

The algorithm generates quatrains describing different houses and their living situations, without repeating before processing its chance set that contains thousands of unique possibilities. After winning a Guggenheim grant for this pioneer computer poem, I created the first architectural structure while I was in New York City.

visitors of the house of dust in 1970
Photo of the House of dust in the 1970

Later, I had it relocated and rebuilt at CAL ARTS, in California, where I was teaching. Since then, other curators and historians have designed temporary structures to be built based on the poem, in academic or semi-academic contexts.
After many years tinyBE presents the new generation of technology for building a livable structure — THE HOUSE OF DUST realized by automated printing using robotics.

How did you come up with the idea of realizing your artwork THE HOUSE OF DUST using a 3D printer?

AK: The building process is an opportunity to realize the structure in an on-site intermedia-action-event. While the poem is printed and read, it meets up with a three dimensional structure also being printed by computer. THE HOUSE OF DUST has been waiting for this technical break-through implied by poem’s focus.

Casa stampata in 3d, Crane WASP
Crane WASP, the printer that will be used to create the sculpture

Your work is exploring the nexus of art, technology and architecture. In 1968 the computer-generated poem was translated into a physical structure whereby the viewers were invited to interact with the house. In what way will this new edition enable viewers to interact with your work?

AK: The public is invited to observe the printing process. By reactivating the concept of THE HOUSE OF DUST we do not only introduce this pioneering technology to the public, we’ll also use sustainable raw materials such as clay.

Viewers will be able to visit and inhabit a sustainable sculpture. They are taking part in a historical experience, prominently placed in front of the entrance of the Landesmuseum Wiesbaden, a natural environment supported by an institution globally known for its decades long support of Fluxus. THE HOUSE OF DUST will be a habitable space in public and an important contemporary Fluxus experience.

alison knowles with house of dust in 1970
View of the house of dust in the 1970

What makes the work THE HOUSE OF DUST so captivating from your point of view?

AK: THE HOUSE OF DUST has taken into consideration that architecture is becoming more fluid, it provides a linguistic structure that recognizes the inflow of new factors in living. By relaunching (and redefining) THE HOUSE OF DUST I’m able to engage the latest technical advances.

What in your opinion are the advantages of 3D printed artworks?

AK: The cost of printing artworks like the new version of THE HOUSE OF DUST is minimal by comparison to standard construction methods. Not only it is low-cost but also environmentally friendly and fast.

MARCH 2021

Crowdfunding campaign

If the Campaign will reach the goal, the structure will be printed in front of the Museum Wiesbaden and will remain there from 26 June to 26 September 2021. Visitors will be able to enter the house and also stay there for the night. The sculpture exhibition will be hosted by the non-profit organization tinyBE.

What happens with the funding raised?

The House of Dust artwork is being made possible by people like you!
There are already numerous public and private supporters, like Frankfurt’s head of culture Dr. Ina Hartwig, Frankfurt RheinMain Kulturfondsthe, City of Wiesbaden, the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art, and others.

The renowned architectural firm Zaeske und Partner is working pro bono for Alison Knowles, but unfortunately, that is still not enough to also produce the sculpture in Wiesbaden with the use of 3D printing. All the money raised from this crowdfunding campaign will be spent on the production of Alison Knowles’ artwork.

The Crowdfunding campaign has raised more money than the set goal, thanks to all the participants. The printing has started the 15th of June and the final result has been presented on 30th of June.

The external view of The house of Dust completed: here you can see the pattern of the walls.



tinyBE is a global platform for artistic visions of sustainable forms of living. As a creative lab tinyBE offers a series of exhibitions of habitable artworks in public spaces and a free space for a discourse on meaningful life: ‘the tinyBE way’.

tinyBe logo

The project has been made possible thanks to the collaboration between WASP, TinyBE, Zaeske Architekten, Karriebau Gruppe. Material supplied by Ricehouse.