Fiery Lantern

Overview Render01

“Fiery Lanterns” is an expression of sustainability and simplicity, in a modern consumerist world when simple ancient systems are taken for granted. In the theme “Caravansary”, the installation aims to initiate a cultural exchange, encasing Burners and creating crossroads to connect world’s neighbourhoods. The installation shows the possibilities of analysing natural mathematical systems, which we commonly interact with in everyday life and reinterpreting them. Research to produce “Fiery Lanterns”, has allowed detailed prototyping of bending timber to create a memory structure. Testing it to destruction and pushing the understanding of its properties, utilising its strengths and minimalising its weaknesses.

The installation takes inspiration from natural repeating phyllotaxis spirals in sunflower heads. These interconnecting spirals are orientated by the mathematical rules of the golden ratio and governed by successive Fibonacci numbers, to create beautiful majestic forms. This is translated into the identical panels of the “Fiery Lantern”, simply stitched together; they twist and turn to create an ornate case to protect the flames within. This is communicated to the Burner by the symmetry in the design and how you interact with the lanterns. It gives a modern definition of the possibilities of encasement in wood and builds on what is capable using this system.

Panel Assembly Detail

“Fiery Lanterns” are made from four identical stitched panels, which are rotated around each lantern’s central axis.  The curves of the panels are all related to each other, allowing the lanterns to be tightly packed together. The exterior form purposely deceives the Burner, enticing them to explore within and encase themselves in the individual lanterns. The internal maze encourages the exchange and interaction of cultural ideas, to proceed to the pinnacle shimmering lantern.

Spirallehedron Packing

The lanterns are driven into the ground, creating a solid structure, with no predefined front, back or side. The hidden internal entrance, allows Burners to search for the center of the “Fiery Lantern”, crawling or relaxing in the shade, connecting with the playa so as to reach encasement. It does not create barriers in the vast landscape of the Black Rock City, but the lantern’s openings invite a glimpse of the vibrant treasure within. The Burner views the internal surprise and is encouraged to have their own sensory journey, weaving through the individual lanterns, taking their own experience and creating their personal connections. The pinnacle lantern, offers a perspective view over the playa, allowing the Burner reflection on the path below.

Fiery Lanterns spirals out of the harsh compact playa ground in the vast expanse of Black Rock City, surrounded by Burners and art installations. Burners can interact with the installation, explore the individual lanterns and find the Burners encased within. They seek to reach the pinnacle lantern, for reflection on the way forward. As the sun sets at the end of the festival, the internal flames in the lantern will be extinguished and the installation burnt.   

Fiery Lantern_Interior View to Pinnacle Lantern

The installation has evolved through a detailed research into the natural repeating phsyllotaxis spirals in sunflower heads. It is interesting to consider how each spiral is interconnected with the next and governed by the same set of mathematical rules, however changing the parameters changes the resultant architectural form. This is translated in the individuality of the Burning Man experience, the internal connections between the lanterns, offer the same experience, but generate differing personalised interactions with the Burners encased within.

Physical Model Construction_Page_2

Physical modelling demonstrated how the related curves in the components, allows for the lanterns to be tightly packed together. The repeating panels and simplistic design principle, enable open resourcing meaning once the Fiery Lanterns’ flame has been extinguished it can be resurrected at various scales, using the same laser cutting templates.

The scale of the lanterns, allows each component to be cut from a single sheet for plywood, meaning only repeating vertical seams are expressed. Each lantern is an intimate encasing, fitting one or two Burners. Burners must transverse through each lantern in order to reach the pinnacle, it encourages travellers to cross paths and initiate a cultural exchange. 12mm birch faced plywood is used, as the thickness allows the material to be flexible, but also retains its strength. The plywood becomes malleable once soaked in warm water and can be stitched into the panels. The assembly process and onsite installation is simple and uses minimal bolts.

The flame cannot be lit in the lantern until the ornate encasement has been completed. Construction commences through ground anchoring the secluded base lanterns. Soaking and stitching the panels for the internal maze, allows the form to evolve to enable the crowning of the pinnacle lantern. Once dry the Fiery Lantern is complete, the wood’s structural capabilities and sturdiness return, the flame can be lit and it can guide the souls of the playa.

Fiery Lantern_Shimmering in the Dusk Sunlight

The internal space provides a refuge in the vast expanse of the landscape, shielding from the winds and creating a portal of shade. However, it is not a solitary experience; the openings allow all Burners access to the space. You are able to see out, past or through the structure to the rest of Black Rock City.

Fiery Lantern_Night Time Specticle

The lack of a defined entrance means Fiery Lantern has a differing appearance from each angle. It encourages Burners to explore the proposal, to realise encasement. It draws them to the warmth and love of the flames within.

Fiery Lantern_Physical Model

Fiery Lantern PlanFiery Lantern_Section

The lack of a defined entrance means Fiery Lantern has a differing appearance from each angle. It encourages Burners to explore the proposal, to realise encasement. It draws them to the warmth and love of the flames within.

Infinity Stone

 

aka The Desert Diamond

A spectral construct unearthed by the shifting sands of the Black Rock Desert, the Infinity stone is left. An Architectural Cipher it lays on its side, open and yawning towards the sun.

The structure symbolizes both the illusion of material wealth and its realization – The diamond, is hollow, and mirrored. It forces us to instead of gazing at the stone, to enter it, to look past it, into ourselves and onto the horizon.

 

The Desert Diamond is a structure based on the morphed and architecturally interpreted geometry of the brilliant cut diamond.

A series of triangulated panels, the principal structure is composed of multiple bent acrylic panels, with mirror tint rolled across the surfaces. Then it is fixed together with cable ties to build flexible joints. A base of wooden ply is placed on the floor to fix the structure, and provide a solid base.

The mirror tint is inverted, so outside the structure one can see inside, and inside is an infinity of reflections, of people, each other – and the desert. Light will reflect and bounce, a multivlance of colour and fire will sparkle and burn into the memories of those who experience the Infinity Stone.

Lotus Hypars

Lotus Hypars – A study of hyperbolic bamboo structures

The Lotus Hypars symbolise the “Caravansary” trading centre. The structure is assembled as the centre for exchange after journeying across land and water to a resting point, Burning Man. Hammocks offer a space for the festivals unique style of trading to be discussed and carried out. The tangible nature of the Lotus also creates a playfulness in an otherwise formal system of resources exchange. The lightweight structure evolves from the horizontal lines of the desert and forms a hyperbolic shelter. The user can inhabit not only underneath the structure, but also the petal shaped hammocks. Here, individuals can exchange stories, supplies and treasures.

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In Buddhism, the Lotus flower is symbolic of fortune. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment. The Lotus Hypar story has evolved from the same principles. In the harsh desert environment, man can create beauty. The folded geometries are playfully excited by human participation. A twist, a fold and a push.

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The structure is assembled using bamboo sticks that are arranged in a reciprocal formation. These canes are then bound using high strength elastic bands. This allows for the flat cells to twist and take on new shapes. The Lotus Hypar is formed by a repetitive series of folds and the result forms petals. These are symbolic of the Lotus flower. The cells are covered with a white semi-elastic membrane that adds to the strength of the structure and the petal geometries become more visible. These are also the hammocks that can be inhabited by the Burning Man users.

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In order to test the structural performance of the proposal, I constructed a series of 1:1 scale models. This was done using 6m and 3m bamboo canes (35mm diameter). By testing a small segment of the full proposal, it is easier to determine the success of the final proposal.

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Biohacking

We have personal computing, why not personal biotech? That’s the question biologist Ellen Jorgensen and her colleagues asked themselves before opening Genspace, a nonprofit DIYbio lab in Brooklyn devoted to citizen science, where amateurs can go and tinker with biotechnology. Genspace offers a long list of fun, creative and practical uses for DIYbio.

(bio)Plastic Morphologies

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What if Bioplastic could be used as a green construction material ?

Plastic can acquire any shape you give it.

But what about the natural behaviour of the viscous material?

Experiments consisting in elongating the viscous material can reveal an interesting form configuration that has inherent structural properties.

The rules defining the the material configuration are then coded into a script that enables to digitally replicate the shape. The structural performace of the shape opens the opportunity for many applications.

A bridge is imagined following the same formal configuration.

Stars to Sand

The ‘Stars to Sand’ installation has been inspired by the phenomenon of the ‘Ice Halo’ – when tiny crystals of ice in the sky create huge halos of light and rainbows across the sky . The original starting point had been the study of snowflakes and their formation and extreme diversity, their magical quality and luminescence. This led to a closer study of prism shaped crystals and the refraction of light.

Arctic Halo
An Ice Halo forming around the sun in the Arctic


The intention of the crystal wall is to bring the halos and rainbows ‘from the stars down to the sand’ – to make that ethereal and ephemeral experience into something more tangible and longer lasting yet equally beautiful and on a human scale.  Ice halos and rainbows are elusive and out of reach; this installation is designed to make them accessible, to immerse the spectator and participant in a mystical experience, to place them within the rainbow.

This is achieved through a wall of water prisms that create a time based experience by dispersing the light of the sun into fantastic awe-inspiring rainbow patterns at certain times within the day – sunrise, high noon and sunset.

During the night a simple lighting rig is used to project moving beams of light onto the wall to produce specific refraction patterns across the Playa.  At night these light patterns can involve human interaction by the inclusion of movement sensors to create a responsive crystal wall that lights up and projects rainbows based on the movement of people around it.

It will also create the unexpected illusion of a wall of ice in the desert, a paradox, as if a rolling wave had frozen on a beach and become a crystalline form.

Burning Man, day time render.Josh Haywood

Burning Man. Sunset Rainbows Render. Josh Haywood
Sunset rainbows
Burning Man Night time Render. Dancing Rainbows. Josh haywood
Night time dancing rainbows
Minute crystals sampled from atmosphere during halo formation
Minute halo forming crystals
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A halo forming around the moon
Model1. Josh Haywood
Prism model

Model2. Josh Haywood

Model3 Josh Haywood
Light experiments

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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Harmonograph | Light

A series of long exposure photographs of a light on the end of a freely oscillating pendulum.

The pendulum’s centre of gravity is slightly off-centre, meaning that 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 due to friction between the pendulum and the air.

This set up is the most simple form of a harmonograph.

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Fractal Cult

day view
day view

“Fractal Cult” is an installation consisting of two types of structures that aim to create an intriguing, mesmerising, explorative, playful and interactive experience for visitors of the 2013 Burning Man festival, an annual art event and temporary community based on radical self-expression and self-reliance in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.

night view
night view

The geometry of the installation is based on the work of Swedish mathematician Niels Fabian Helge von Koch and in particular his invention of the Koch Snowflake, one of the earliest fractal curves to be described. Specifically, the structures are an adaptation of Koch Snowflake’s principles into a three-dimensional environment that essentially starts with a regular tetrahedron and recursively generates new tetrahedrons on each of its faces resulting in a complex, yet simply and efficiently defined, end result.

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Fractal progression in 2D and 3D

The installation is consisted by 4 timber-made, fractal pods that symmetrically surround a space frame-like structure of a similar fractal nature and with climbing nets dressing the faces of the geometrical shape that is created.

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Timber Pod construction progress
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Timber Pod interior photos of 1.5 : 1 model


The timber pods, during daylight, are the first structure that a visitor encounters and both initiate and welcome the exploration of its symmetric but complex structure. Visitors are also able to enter the pods and experience an even more intriguing spectacle of the formation of faces and joints that create a kaleidoscope-like effect. They can also be used as temporary shelters from wind and sun, or even a meditation space. During the night, these timber fractal pods are illuminated from their interior, creating magnificent patterns of lighting that will attract visitors and welcome them to explore the site.

night plan view
night plan view

The imposing, central structure, during daylight, attracts visitors with its fractal nature, yet simple construction, and invites visitors to climb and engage with it with in all sorts of ways. Climbing the exterior and attempting to reach the top or even getting inside the interior and enjoy the complexity that the multiple layers of nets create. Moreover, the structure can definitely be seen as becoming a much more live thing during the festival, with people using the nets to create temporary shelters from the sun by weaving cloth materials or similar, forming a patchwork effect on the structure’s faces. It is difficult to predict exactly the kind of behaviour that visitors will have towards such a structure but more likely than not its lightweight nature, great size and the multifunctional nature of nets will allow for several different scenarios which would be great to observe. During the night, the structure maintains the same use but it is symmetrically lit with stage lights pointing from the ground up that will give the structure an illuminating effect and hopefully attract visitors from far away.

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Main structure construction process

Last but not least, the geometry of the structures is strongly spiritually connected to Mekabah, a divine light vehicle allegedly used by ascended masters to connect with and reach those in tune with the higher realms. “Mer” means Light. “Ka” means Spirit. “Ba” means Body. Mer-Ka-Ba means the spirit/body surrounded by counter-rotating fields of light, (wheels within wheels), spirals of energy as in DNA, which transports spirit/body from one dimension to another.

merkabah
Merkabah

Overall, “Fractal Cult” aims to offer a great variety of fun and explorative options, as well as serving as a place able to transform to temporary shelter or meditation space for visitors, while at the same time impose beauty through its fractal and symmetric nature.

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1.5 : 1 Model photo in DS10 studio

The Crystal Path

09The Crystal Path is a structure based on the Hexactinellid underwater sea sponge, its aim is to take a structure inspired by deep sea creatures and to put it into its opposite environment, the desert.

The Sponge is a glass sponge, and is built of Silica. Silica strands mesh together to form optical fiber’s which transmit light, grabbing loose photons at the base of the ocean. This forms the basis for my proposal.

Utilizing LDR sensors and LED eyeball lights fixed to light rods attached through the structure ambient light, from sunlight to flashlights and fire will trigger sensors. These will switch the lights on and off in call and response type patterns. This will create an otherworldly ethereal structure which has a unique interaction with the light which surrounds it.

Its intention is to be shaped like a pathway, users will contemplate the nature of light and freedom, as the open structure will allow bikes and small mutant vehicles to travel underneath.

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