Fractals vs Digital Fabrication

Since the last post on the 23rd October our students have been exploring how to materialise their research into fractals (which they generated with Mandelbulb3D). The conflict between endless geometry and finite material world creates a creative tension that pushes innovation in digital design and fabrication. From parametric equations to parametric design, students have explored fractals as self-generating computer images and attempted to control them, first through changing their variables and then by extracting the most appealing fragments and recreating them using Grasshopper3D . From pure voxel-based images to NURBS or meshes and to 3D printing, laser-cutting, thermo-forming, casting..etc… students are confronted to the limitation of the computer’s memory and processing power as well as materials and numerical control (NC) programming language such as Gcode.

Navigating through fractals, exploring their recursive unpredictability to create more finite prototypes is like walking through the forest and noticing a beautiful flower to design your next building – it helps to let go of a fully top-down approach to architecture, it encourages a collaborations with your computer and a deep understanding of machines and materials. It anticipates a world in which the computers will have an intelligence of their own, where the architect will guide it onto a learning path instead of giving him instructions.  Using infinite fractals to inspire designs helps instill infinity within the finite world – bringing a spiritual dimension to our everyday life. 

Below is a selection of our students Brief01 journey so far:

Manveer Sembi's  Aexion Fractal imported from Mandelbulb3D to Rhino and 3D Printed
Manveer Sembi’s Aexion Fractal imported from Mandelbulb3D to Rhino and 3D Printed
Alexandra Goulds' MIXPINSKI4EX fractal
Alexandra Goulds’ MIXPINSKI4EX fractal
Michael Armfield's parametric exploration of the Amazing Surf Fractal
Michael Armfield’s parametric exploration of the Amazing Surf Fractal
20171102_184258.jpg
Michael Armfield’s parametric exploration of the Amazing Surf Fractal
Michael Armfield's parametric exploration of the Amazing Surf Fractal
Michael Armfield’s parametric exploration of the Amazing Surf Fractal
Henry McNeil's Fibreglass modelling of the Apollonian Gasket.
Henry McNeil’s Fibreglass modelling of the Apollonian Gasket.
Henry McNeil's 3D printed support for his fractal
Henry McNeil’s 3D printed support for his fractal
Henry McNeil's 3D printed fractal imported from Mandelbulb3d to Rhino
Henry McNeil’s 3D printed fractal imported from Mandelbulb3d to Rhino
Henry McNeil's Fibreglass prototype from Ping-Pong and tennis balls
Henry McNeil’s Fibreglass Fractal prototype from Ping-Pong and tennis balls
Ed Mack's laser-cut Fractal Dodecahedron.
Ed Mack’s laser-cut Fractal Dodecahedron.

 

Ben Street's auxetic double curved paper models
Ben Street’s auxetic double curved paper models
Ben Street's single curved paper models
Ben Street’s single curved paper models
Lewis Toghill's composite shells with Jesmonite, plaster, wax and fibre glass
Lewis Toghill’s composite shells with Jesmonite, plaster, wax and fibre glass

20171109_114548Alexandra Goulds' flexible timber node

Alexandra Goulds' flexible timber node
Alexandra Goulds’ flexible timber node
Manveer Sembi's paper cutting for double curved paper sphere
Manveer Sembi’s paper cutting for double curved paper sphere
James Marr's single curved wood node with rotational geometry for subdivided mesh geometry
James Marr’s single curved wood node with rotational geometry for subdivided mesh geometry
Nick Leung's 3D prints of the different recursive steps of a space-filling curve
Nick Leung’s 3D prints of the different recursive steps of a space-filling curve

 

Rebecca Cooper's Fractal truss study on parametric structural analysis tool Karamba3D
Rebecca Cooper’s Fractal truss study on parametric structural analysis tool Karamba3D
Manon Vajou's burnt polypropelene studies
Manon Vajou’s burnt polypropelene studies

20171026_154920

Thursday 19th October Pin-Up

Diploma Studio 10 is back with 21 talented architecture students from 4th and 5th year working on the Brief01:Fractals. Here is an overview of their experiments so far after 4 weeks of workshops.

Sara Malik’s Dodecahedron IFS Fractal (with Julia set) modelling with a handheld 3D printing pen.
Sara Malik’s matrix of fractals using Mandelbulb3D
Ola Wojciak’s beautiful collection of Mandelbulb3D experiments using the Msltoe_Sym Formula with the Koch Surface.
Ola Wojciak’s beautiful collection of Mandelbulb3D experiments using the Msltoe_Sym Formula with the Koch Surface.
Ola Wojciak’s beautiful collection of Mandelbulb3D experiments using the Msltoe_Sym Formula with the Koch Surface.
Ola Wojciak’s first physical model expressing her fractals using ropes cast in plaster
Beautiful twisting L-System from James Marr on Grasshopper3D using Anemone.
Matthew Chamberlain’s Strange Attractors Study using a combination of Blender and Grasshopper3D
Matthew Chamberlain’s Strange Attractors Study using a combination of Blender and Grasshopper3D
Matthew Chamberlain’s Strange Attractors Study using a combination of Blender and Grasshopper3D
Matthew Chamberlain’s Strange Attractors Study using a combination of Blender and Grasshopper3D
Manveer Sembi’s Aexion Fractal Matrix with Julia Set.
Michael Armfield’s Amazing Surf Fractal on Mandelbulb3d
Lewis Toghill’s Fractal Matrix using the cyripple , KalilinComb, sphereIFS, Isocahedron and genIFS fractals.

 

Brief 2017-2018

Woodchip Barn, Hooke Park. and Wooden Waves, BuroHappold.

We are back after a year exploring Symbols & Systems, and an inspiring unit trip to South India, visiting the Hempi Valley and Auroville. This year our focus is on Fractals, not just as forms but as tools to understand how geometry can become infinite and how it can be built within the constraints of the physical reality. Fractals gives the opportunity to expand confined spaces, to let the mind fill the gap that reality had to stop. Therefore it also provides a great tool for the second brief, which is the Tiny Home movement, society’s need to create more compact, efficient homes to face the environmental and economical crisis. As per our previous briefs, we would like our students to build their projects, whether it is a giant fractal at a festival or an actual home within a space that would otherwise be left empty, we want students to raise funds and make, using digital fabrication tools combined with off-the-shelf material. Our goal is to continue training the entrepreneur-makers of tomorrow. Below is a breakdown of our briefs as they are being drafted:

Fractals in nature & structures
Unit trip to India studying the links between recursive structures, spirituality and aggregation
The Tiny Home Movement

 

3 Days left to help us with the Tangential Dreams Crowdfunding Campaign

Hello WeWantToLearn community. We’re going to Burning Man in less than a month!

Our project this year will be a physical manifestation of our collective dreams and is called Tangential Dreams.  It is a seven meters high temporary timber tower displaying inspiring messages from around the world, written on a multitude of swirling “tangents”.

We need your help to realise our project! There is only three days left to collect the missing £5,000 on our crowdfunding campaign to finance the many expenses associated with the creation of such an ambitious project.

Please click on the image below or use the following shortlink to share/help – everything helps: http://kck.st/28KlbPk 🙂

 

Kickstarter-support-590x144

 

MamouMani_TangentialDreams (15)

The project is a climbable sinuous tower made from off-the-shelf timber and digitally designed via algorithmic rules. One thousand “tangent” and light wooden pieces, stenciled with inspiring sentences, are strongly held in position by a helicoid sub-structure rotating along a central spine which also forms a safe staircase to climb on. Each one of the poetic branches faces a different angle, based on the tangent vectors of a sweeping sine curve. In line with this year’s theme, the piece is reminiscent of Leonardo’s Vitruvian man’s movement, helicoid inventions such as the “aerial screw” helicopter and Chambord castle helicoid staircase as well as his deep, systematic, understanding of the rules behind form to create art. From a wave to a flame all the way to a giant desert cactus, the complex simplicity of the art piece will trigger many interpretations, many dreams.

The art piece attempts to maximize an inexpensive material by using the output of an algorithm – (the value of the piece being the mathematics behind it, as well as the experience, not the materials being used). The computer outputs information to locate the column, sub-structure and tangents.  We believe digital tools in design are giving rise to a new Renaissance, in which highly sophisticated designs, mimicking natural processes by integrating structural and environmental feedback, can be achieved at a very low cost. We worked very closely with our structural engineer format, sharing our algorithms, to give structural integrity to the piece and resist the strong climbing and wind loads. There are now three “legs” to our proposal, each rotated from each other at 60 degrees angles around a central solid spine, to ensure the stability of the piece, similarly to a tripod. The tangents are not just a decoration, they act as a spiky balustrade to prevent people from falling.

We have a fantastic team for the project:  Philip Olivier, Eira Mooney, Maialen Calleja, Aaron Porterfield, Sebastian Morales, Antony Dobrzensky, Laura Nica, Karina Pitis, Hamish Macpherson, Jon Goodbun, Yannick Yamanga, Matthew Springer ,Josh NG ,Lola Chaine, Dror BenHay, Peter Wang, Charlotte Chambers, Michael DiCarlo, Sandy Kwan.

 

We want our structure to have an intangible aspect, a magical side, one that is beyond matter and geometry. We want to connect our art with every each of you and make you part of our own BIG DREAM, building Tangential Dreams.
We want our structure to have an intangible aspect, a magical side, one that is beyond matter and geometry. We want to connect our art with every each of you and make you part of our own BIG DREAM, building Tangential Dreams.

 

We use physical modelling as a way to understand how the pieces fit together, the best assembly sequence as well as the structural integrity of the project. It takes time, material, money to create a truly original project.
We use physical modelling as a way to understand how the pieces fit together, the best assembly sequence as well as the structural integrity of the project. It takes time, material, money to create a truly original project.

 

Gif Animation of the assembly process. the project will take two weeks to pre-cut and assemble together with volunteers. We need your help for all the expenses.
Gif Animation of the assembly process. the project will take two weeks to pre-cut and assemble together with volunteers. We need your help for all the expenses.

 

 

Exciting rewards to thank you for your supports! from top left to bottom right: Pendants, Earrings, T-Shirts, Tangents, Vase, Ceiling Panels, 3D Printed Smoke Stool, Full Physical Model.
Exciting rewards to thank you for your supports! from top left to bottom right: Pendants, Earrings, T-Shirts, Tangents, Vase, Ceiling Panels, 3D Printed Smoke Stool, Full Physical Model.

 

 

WeWantToLearn.net at Burning Man 2015

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.” Xun Kuang (312-230 BC)

WeWantToLearn.net at Burning Man 2015 – A video by Freddie Barrie

“We believe that Architecture should be fun and in giving our students the opportunity to build projects in the real world. We want them to dare to be naïve, curious, and enthusiastic,  to think like makers and to act like entrepreneurs, creating an architecture of joy. Burning Man is the playground for our dreams.” Toby Burgess and Arthur Mamou-Mani, DS10 Studio Leaders, University of Westminster

Team: Toby Burgess and Arthur Mamou-Mani (tutors), Tobias Power (Designer of The Infinity Tree), Jon Leung (Designer of Bismuth Bivouac), Lorna Jackson (Designer of reflection), Maialen Calleja, Andrei Jipa, Josh Potter, Aaron Porterfield, Aigli Tsirogianni, Alex Fotherby, Andrew K Green, Ben Brakspear, Ben lloyd Goldstein, Charlotte Chambers, Deepak Krasner, Eira Mooney, Eliana Stenning, Elizabeth Ripps, Felix Thiodet, Garis Iu, Jack Hardy, Jasmine Low, Jon Goodbun, Lianne Clark, Maria Sobrino, Martin Brien, Matthew Lee, Michelle Tanya Barratt, Neale Shutler, Phil Olivier, Ricky Chandi, Sarah Stell, Toby Plunkett, Tom Jelley, Elan laplain, Innes Shelley, Jake Spruyt, James Abbott, Jasper Sauve, Joe Leach, Julian Sauve, Klina Jordan, Joshua de Matteo, Maria Vergopoulou, Kris Leung, Ben Metcalfe-Penny, Willem Ossorio, Sebastian Sauve, Tim Hornsby, Tim Martin

Engineers: Format Engineering (The Infinity Tree and Bismuth Bivouac) Price & Myers (Reflection)

Special Thanks: BettieJune Scarborough, Ben Stoelting, Brody Scotland, DaveX, Harry Charrington, Thomas Ermacora, Betty Lam and to all our Kickstarter Backers.

Here are some stills extracted from the video:

 

 

 

19th October 2015 Tutorials

Hello Everyone – Back in our studio studying mathematical, biological and made-made systems using parametric tools and digital fabrication for our BRIEF01: EXPLORE. Here are couple highlights from yesterday’s tutorial showing the initial study models and drawings needed to explain the rules of the system and their creative possibilities.

Thin layered structures based on Japanese craft and the artist Shono Shounsai by Hamish Mac Pherson
Thin layered structures based on Japanese craft and the artist Shono Shounsai by Hamish Mac Pherson
Auxetic Structure from Paper by Alex Sommerville
Auxetic Structure from Paper by Alex Sommerville
The mathematics of moire patterns by Tom Jelley
The mathematics of moire patterns by Tom Jelley
Variations on Curves of Pursuit by Josh Potter
Variations on Curves of Pursuit by Josh Potter
Extending the faces of Isocahedron variations creating interlocking structures by Aslan Adnan
Extending the faces of Isocahedron variations creating interlocking structures by Aslan Adnan
Variations on interlocking hexagons by Vlad Ignatescu
Variations on interlocking hexagons by Vlad Ignatescu
Variations on interlocking hexagons by Vlad Ignatescu
Variations on interlocking hexagons by Vlad Ignatescu
Variations on interlocking hexagons by Vlad Ignatescu
Variations on interlocking hexagons by Vlad Ignatescu
Truncated Polyhedron shaped from the planar corners by Agnieszka Tarnowska
Truncated Polyhedron shaped from the planar corners by Agnieszka Tarnowska

 

 

Brief 2015 – 2016

We are back after building three projects in the desert!

This year we would like our students to become Entrepreneur Makers, looking for funding opportunities to build projects in the real world.

Have a look at our 2015-2016 briefs and presentations below:

Entrepreneur Makers Article in the last AD with Joe Leach's temple for Burning Man
Entrepreneur Makers Article in the last AD with Joe Leach’s temple for Burning Man
Reflection by Lorna Jackson - Picture by Andrew K. Green
Reflection by Lorna Jackson – Picture by Andrew K. Green
Bismuth Bivouac by Jon Leung - Picture by Toby Burgess
Bismuth Bivouac by Jon Leung – Picture by Toby Burgess
The Infinity Tree by Tobias Power - Picture by Arthur Mamou-Mani
The Infinity Tree by Tobias Power – Picture by Arthur Mamou-Mani