Near Unison | Dan Dodds | Kinetica Art Fair 2013

Near Unison, my project exploring harmonographic traces is currently being shown at Kinetica Art Fair. The exhibition is in Ambika P3, the exhibition space attached to the University of Westminster on Marylebone Road. For more information on the exhibition, and details about tickets and opening times please visit the Kinetica Art Fair website.

Kinetica Art Fair - Near Unison

The exhibit features a prototype of the interactive harmonograph swings that could form part of the larger installation proposed for Burning Man Festival, along with casts of the harmonographic traces left in sand, and photographic work documenting the process.

“The 5th Kinetica Art Fair returns February 28th – March 3rd 2013 at Ambika P3, as one of London’s annual landmark art exhibitions and a permanent fixture in the Art Fair calendar, renowned as the UK’s only art fair dedicated to kinetic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and new media art.

Kinetica is hosting the work of over 45 galleries and art organisations nationally and internationally, with representatives from UK, France, Russia, USA, Poland, Holland, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Indonesia and Japan, collectively showing over 400 works of art.

A huge interactive light sculpture from Dutch artist Titia Ex will greet visitors as they enter the impressive Ambika P3 venue, and giant 3D sculptures from Holotronica will hover above the main space of the Fair. Other highlights include an exoskeleton hybrid of mananimal-machine by Christiann Zwanniken; a giant three dimensional zoetrope by Greg Barsamian; and a life-size ‘Galloping Horse’ made of light by Remi Brun”

Kinetica Art Fair Press Release

The Role of Bioplastics, Bioenergy and Biofuels in Global Land Use

This is a very interesting article about the increasing role of Bioplastics and Bioenergy and its effects on the global land use.

The Role of Bioplastics- Bioenergy and Biofuels in Global Land Use

The Role of Bioplastics- Bioenergy and Biofuels in Global Land Use1

The article was published in March 2012

FREEMETRY – Hygroscopic Behaviour in the Desert

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Freemetry is a response to the contrast between geometry and freedom at the Burning Man festival in Nevada. The strong distinction between layout symmetry and strong guidelines, with the emphasis on radical self expression is fascinating. Something this proposal seeks to express by exploring the self-organising, Hygroscopic behaviour of wood veneer within a symmetrical framework. Freemetry provides a destination on the open expanse of the nevada desert in the form of a refreshing shower and shade in a harsh exposed environment.

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The orientation of the proposal tries to maximise the amount of shade throughout the day, whilst providing a refreshing shower and bathing stream to cool down in. The water used on the proposal sprays onto the veneer to affect change, whilst dripping onto users. The resulting light quality changes throughout the day with use and will also be activated by large changes in humidity or rainfall.

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Build Sequence above.

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The work of Richard Serra has had a profound impact on my perception of space. When approaching the design, I asked myself how I could introduce elements of Serra’s approach in creating a passageway. Where a person’s perception of that space can change as they move through it. Initially I designed a proposal on a larger scale to Freemetry, with similar components and programmatic elements, shown below.

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Further development and scale testing of this proposal highlighted a few key design and fabrication issues. The image below shows the component that was made to a scale of 1:2. The design issues meant it was unable to stand on its own. The issues are highlighted in the following images and initiated a re-design to ensure the proposal actually works.

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Cosmic Streams

DAY FLOW

Cosmic streams celebrates water in a harsh, dry environment. Water is essential to life. It is precious and for that, we should celebrate it.  Burning Man offers an environment that enhances its profound importance to us. For me, it is really about appreciating water, and that is why it has become the main building material. The key form for the proposal is created by glowing streams of water.

The glowing water will induce play and allow people to interact with the water. The installation can be used for washing, cooling off or just relaxing and observing.

The form for the design was conceived by my interest in liquids and how we can manipulate them. I began with a study of fluid properties. I looked at everyday uses and how we use liquids. To develop the idea of fluid form making further patterns, I began to investigate ferrofluid. This liquid can be forced into new patterns and structures by using magnetic fields. When a magnet field is brought close to the liquid, an array of spikes is formed. The position of these spikes is determined by a series of streamlines (a series of invisible magnetic field vectors). It is these streamlines that have defined the form of the installation.

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Glowing water is the interactive part of this piece. The water and light are combined to evoke play to passers by.  These streams of fluid are tactile and create habitable spaces beneath.

To a passer by, it resembles a series of glowing arcs with an aura around it. As the installation is approached, it is clear to see that there are a number of spaces within these arcs. Intrigued, the user can experiment with these spaces. Some spaces offer a chance to relax and watch streams of bright liquid pass over you without being touched by the jets.

The base of the proposal has shallow contours and, over the period of a week, will become covered in sand and dust concealing the base. When the pumps are switched on, it will appear that liquid is emerging from the desert floor.

FLOW POSITIONING

The installations is highly interactive. There are spaces for people to people to engage with fluids in a number of different ways. The images below show the three typologies.

TYPOLOGIES

Harmonograph | Sand

A series of experiments tracing the movement of a freely oscillating pendulum in a layer of sand.

The pendulum’s centre of gravity is slightly off-centre, meaning that the the x and y components of its movement oscillate at very slightly different frequencies; the harmonic relationship between these frequencies causes remains constant as the amplitude decreases rapidly due to friction between the pendulum and the sand. The rate of decay of the amplitude can be controlled by the depth to when the pendulum penetrates the layer of sand.

Casts of these forms were made by pouring liquid plaster carefully over the sand once it had been held in place with a light coating of sprayed acrylic varnish.

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For more infomation please visit www.dandodds.co.uk

WikiWax

This project looked to understand and develop a construction set that could be open source such as the WikiHouse CNC construction set. Through the material research done, I have predominately focused on the use of wax in construction. Experiments have explored its use as a form-finder, form-work and as a composite material. To apply this system as a Wiki, I strived to develop potential products, along with build information, which could then be open source. However the nature of the research, the complexity of the processes, and the functionality of the final products led me to question whether the Wiki route would be feasible. As an alternative, I have begun to explore taking the system along a business route, whilst considering making parts open source for individuals.

Weighing up the options:

1. Open Source
If someone wants to make an item then they have the information available to do so. This could be particularly relevant for the environmental products which could act as cheap DIY alternatives for those that can afford to buy specialist systems.

2. Private copyrighted business
The nature of the WikiWax processes makes it difficult to replicate, they are also not items of necessity nor would they be built as a collective. These are just some of the reasons why the systems developed don’t naturally lend themselves to be open source. As beautiful items they could instead be made into unique designer products and sold.

3. Open Source but protected form big companies
This approach allows for both systems to operate. Individuals can make their own table for example or develop and modify the processes, allowing for innovation and growth. But also products can be patented and sold. Through this strategy architecture is open to 100% of the population rather than the 1% if limited to sale only.

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For further information on my research and material experiments see my portfolio

Material Matters

Here is a video explaining the workshop “In Silico Building” (tutors: Paul EHRET & Philipp EVERSMANN) taking place in the Faculty of Architecture at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). They produced the stunning folded steel structure which you saw on during our unit trip and which was part of the “Material Matters” exhibition at the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, france.

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