Monowheel, 1933, Walter Nilsson in the wheel

Image found on http://culturaanonima.tumblr.com/


Proud to be published on thedraftery.com

"Linea Ex Machina" is published on the great digital archive:


Published on a french "platform": Le courrier de L'architecte !



Device for Drawing the Movements of a Ballerina by Alan Storey

Came across this project. It consists of a device drawing the movements/ consequences of a ballerina.

Find more about Alan Storey here:


Mechanical Living Published on www.xxxtravaganza.com

My old project designed with my friend Sebastien Durel under Sir Peter Cook's studio at l'Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture is published on extravaganza.


Published on socks-studio.com

My thesis was published on Socks-Studio !

Go to to:


Video On Youtube

This is the property of Nelson LARROQUE

Project Explanation

     «Linea Ex Machina» is an architectural art 1/1 installation that explores several dimensions engaged  in the booklet «Machines: the hidden dimension». It is an attempt to understand, investigate and reveal concepts that mechanical devices may trigger and their possible relations/links to architecture. 

As mentioned in the booklet, the term «machina» (meaning: ingenious invention or trick) refers to a finished physical object able to use a mechanical energy source (commonly available) to perform by itself, under the leadership or not of an operator, one or more specific tasks.  It is important to distinguish it from robotics or electronics which are an evolution of the term machine but do not have the physicality of clocks, medieval and Victorian devices. Thus the project «Linea Ex Machina» settles itself in a nostalgic world and modestly echoes Da Vinci’s, Tatlin’s, Libeskind’s, Heath Robinson’s, Shin Egashira’s or Goldberg’s inventions. 

Threw Craft, Absurdity, Art, Choreography, Performance, the installation’s aim is to question the boundaries of architectural representation and open the field of architectural/ art thinking. Thus, the machine is an eccentric drawing device. Made of fir wood and measuring  4m by 2m by 2,30m. It is triggered by a human power source and draws a 10 cm line.  

The link between man and the device is fundamental. By fabricating a 1/1 scale object, a question of human dimensions appears. The human scale can be measured by how the body’s senses are engaged through the particular environment. In this case, the body becomes a prolongation/ extension of the device and not vis versa. The bound questions our relation to machines and how we operate them ?  How does our body react to them ? and in extent, how is it different to an architectural space ? By introducing this notion of structuralism (which is on the opposite spectrum of rationalism), the machine harmonizes itself with the human body. 
Craft allows the inventor to push further the link between the machine and the body. Building a machine is an experiment in itself. Time and patience reenforce the bound between the object and the inventor to eventually transfer the physical link into a spiritual link. 

By using leg power, the installation comes to life and draws the line. The line represents a symbolic act in architecture as it’s the first step to separate two spaces, the void from the full. The invention serves not only as a piece of art in itself or a method of drawing it’s own art but threw it’s drawing questions architectural representation. We tend to underestimate the force of a line and we take it for granted. Even if the line is the most simplistic drawing, it’s the one with  the most significative consequences. The line questions architecture and how we perceive it. It codifies space and to an extent architecture. By creating boundaries, it orients our perception. It controls our body in space. 

The installation’s extravagant gap between it’s purpose and it’s size makes the invention an absurdity. The time effort put in the device compared to it’s simple mission is clearly an none sense. But the installation «uses absurdity as a rhetorical device aimed to question architectural conventions». «Linea Ex Machina» playfully transgresses the rules of «logics» (logics understood as the most simple and effective way to do something) to create a valid alternative vision of the machine. This absurd gap, accentuates the power of the machine’s function and allows the spectator to question himself the importance of the line.   

The installation uses a complex mechanism for a simple purpose. However, eventually in a second manner, the complexity disappears. Choreography overtakes and reveals the playfulness dimension. The performance created by the «causes and effects» allows a lecture threw the mechanical space building a suspense. The machine transforms itself into an actor of it’s own play almost sustaining its existence by it’s own contemplation. Finally, the machine becomes more than a functional object as it settles itself between art and architecture: an art that questions architecture.



These images are the property of Nelson LARROQUE



Or go on :

This is the Property of Nelson LARROQUE.

Graduated with distinctions

Jury Members from left to right:
Sir. Peter COOK (Thesis Director)

I thank all the jury members. 

This is the Property of Nelson LARROQUE.

My Work

Due to heavy format images, I tried to combine them in a booklet:

Open publication - Free publishing - More architecture

This is the Property of Nelson LARROQUE.


One Week to go

These are the property of N. LARROQUE.


2 weeks to go

2 weeks to go. Need to do a movie and pictures. Drawings are on the way as well as flipbooks.
Also need to install the machine at school. So I must dismantle it, transport it and assemble back again before d-day.
Still loads of work.


Time for pictures

Finished the machine. I now need to take some pictures of device. I installed this black background so the machine would pop out more.
Here is a "crappy" picture of the installation with the black background.

Now I need a good camera and a tripod. Will post the pictures when there are done.
3-4 weeks to go.



The machine is 95% finished. Needs some handles for my hands.
Time to do nice drawings, a movie, and think of how I'm going to present my work.
3 weeks to go +1 week of installation.


One More Chain

One more chain, fix the pencil and treat the wood and the machine is done.


Working on it

Few pictures showing the machine nearly finished.
As a reminder, the machine draws a line. It's an absurd machine. I will write soon a text explaining the idea of the device. But you may find some info in my thesis published on issuu.

The black pedal set will change. It will be better installed and more discrete. As far the mechanism goes... it works ! It's a bit chaotic as it needs some adjustments, but every teeth fits correctly.
Need to finish it and then I will start some "nice" drawings and start thinking on how I will present my work.


Rapid Shots

Now needs, pedals, wheels, chains...and normally the line will be traced.


Quick Update

Quick update post.
Being working on animation to verify all my mechanics. Everything seems to work... but you never know until the actual object is built.
Being working on the "stance" and finding the right dimensions between the body and the machine.
Next week I'm back in the workshop with the carpenter. Stoked and anxious to see if my design will work !
Will be sending less posts as the final weeks are arriving fast. Made a schedule and stuff I need to produce. Catch up soon.

Found this on the bartlett blog. Should be a nice lecture ! Hope to see it on youtube sometime.


Animation Part 3

This video shows the mechanism of the machine. The video "style" is in black and white and echoes Charlie Chaplin film's. It adds nostalgia to it. Best to watch full screen. Quality should be fine.
Might add music... or an other sequence. To be discussed.


Here is a "capture screen" of my desktop while making the video. What I like, is the sequence of images. It captures a moment in time and to a far extent echoes Chard's bird device. And I thought the sequence could make a nice drawing...


Webb's Amazing Conference

Back from London and saw an amazing conference by Michael Webb. Was supposed to see Chard's one, but there was a misunderstanding. Anyway, Webb's lecture was fantastic and talked about his work, the notion of perspective and symmetry.
He presented a funny video which I will post if I find it. Here are images found on the bartlett blog (http://bartlettyear1architecture.blogspot.com/). I have my own, but the quality isn't good.
His drawings are superb. Glad I had the opportunity to see this!
(Might post the video of the conference. Need to ask a friend if I can borrow the video he recorded.)

Drive In House.

Temple Island Project.


Experimenting animation Part 2


Wanted to post this small animation. Big improvements since last time. Thanks Martial for your tutorial ! Note this shows half of the animation. Need to animate 3 more "wheels" to have the complete mechanism in motion.
More to come with a better quality image. Now off to London !

Off to Nat Chard's Lecture

Off to London see Nat Chard's lecture at the Bartlett.

One of Chard's Devices. See more of his work here: http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/time-photography-and-spatial-equipment.html