Interactive sea sponge components // Mark Simpson

For my burning man proposal I have developed a method to array components, based on the three sided spicule which react to light to form an interactive light based structure

DSC_0006  DSC_0016 (2)DSC_0025 copy DSC_0021

These components have been developed, enlarged and arrayed to form an undulating structure with a complex array of pipework to hold the ldr sensors and connections. I am currently diagramming their hierarchy  connections and array formation.

Wax Structures

These images show the results of some recent experiments using wax and water.
To achieve the structures I filled a container with hot melted wax, weighted it so it would sink, then dropped it into a larger container full of cold tap water (approx 10 degrees)
Due to the lower density of the wax it rises to the surface of the water, and in doing so exposes an increasing surface area to the water allowing it to cool and solidify on its way up.
This technique has resulted in some exciting organic flowing structures which I hope to analyse further and develop more architecturally.

What do Cell phones, Quantum Physics, Light and Zaha Hadid have in common?

I just came across these really nice videos explaining complicated things in a very simple way.

The first video below explains how M. Faraday discovered magnetic fields and how J.C. Maxwell developed dynamic equations to describe them.

The concept of field can be used to explain many things such as light, cell phones (electro-magnetic vibrations) or even quantum physics (coming from the Greek Quanta = Packets).

The Architectural theorist Stan Allen, in his book Points+Line, even describes a new kind of Architecture based on fields instead of objects which one can relate all the “agent-based” parametric Architecture or to the built examples below of Zaha Hadid’s Hoenheim bus terminal or Eisenman’s Holocaust memorial in Berlin. In these projects, the components of the buildings are only valuable if they are seen as a whole.

Terminus Hoenheim by ZHA
Holocaust Memorial in Berlin by Peter Eisenman

Several DS10 students are looking at fields this year, from Will Garforth-Bless looking at ferrofluid to Chris Ingram tracing the trail of a field with point charges, Below is an example of how the grasshopper tool for field was used in the case of a 2d mapping of ferrofluid.

See videos below to understand how fields work and the history behind their discovery.

The Stone Forest of Madagascar

I just came across this stunning landscape in Madagascar, which is featured in a great article by National Geographic.

Not only is this landscape extraordinary in its appearance, it also holds species that cannot be found elsewhere. “On an island famous for its biodiversity (90 percent of the species here are endemic, found nowhere else on Earth), the 600-square-mile protected area is an island unto itself, a kind of biofortress, rugged, largely unexplored, and made nearly impenetrable by the massive limestone formation—the tsingy—running through it.[…] New species are frequently described from the isolated habitats within—a previously unknown coffee plant in 1996, a minuscule lemur in 2000, a bat in 2005, a frog two years later.”

The Tsingy is a very efficient natural barrier: “In the west the tsingy walls in a large portion of forest. The stone serves as a barrier to human settlement and to cattle, which threaten wildlife habitat all across Africa with their plodding hooves and insatiable appetites. The tsingy also acts as a firebreak, shielding the forest from fires—both natural and those set by humans.”

Images from the article, access the photogallery

Reaction-Diffusion – Alan Turing

Below are several Reaction Diffusion System apps which help to understand the parameters at play on the famous algorithm developed by Alan Turing (1912-1954).

The first one is programmed in Java: http://cgjennings.ca/toybox/turingmorph/

The source code is available for you to tweak in a java app, you can use the Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment) to program in Java and test the results:  http://cgjennings.ca/toybox/turingmorph/TuringMorph.java

The second one is programmed using Processing which is a language based on Java: http://www.openprocessing.org/sketch/15905

To download and try Processing go to Processing.org you can download the interface for free and access the forum for help.

A 3D processing app and pavillion design was done by BioThing (Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez) based on the same Turing patterns: http://www.biothing.org/?p=449  Biothing also held a workshop with the DRL studio based on 3D reaction diffusion patterns:

Some of Biothing’s code is available on their Genware website. Some Processing tutorials are available on this great website by Jose Sanchez: http://www.plethora-project.com/

Finally, the creators of Hoopsnake, Volatile Prototype,  have created a processing library, ReactP5 to create Reaction-Diffusion patterns in 3D: http://volatileprototypes.com/libraries/ReactP5/

From Simplicity to Complexity

In this documentary ‘The Secret Life of Chaos’, Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to uncover one of the great mysteries of science – how does a universe that starts off as dust end up with intelligent life? How does order emerge from disorder?

The Secret Life Of Chaos by jfhack7
(If the embedded video doesn’t appear in the post click the link – Well worth a watch)

The program covers ideas of pattern formation in nature, self organisation, feed back loops, fractal systems, evolution…etc

It reveals the science behind much of beauty and structure in the natural world and its intrinsic part of the laws of physics.

Amazingly, it turns out that the mathematics of chaos can explain how and why the universe creates exquisite order and pattern. The natural world is full of awe-inspiring examples of the way nature transforms simplicity into complexity.

WATER CATHEDRAL by GUN Architects

“The Water Cathedral is a large, horizontal urban nave for public use, discreetly exposed so that enigmatic and semi-dark atmospheres can be made out through its topographic lines of floor and ceiling. Both topographies are surface systems shaped by numerous slender, vertical components, which hang or rise like stalactites and stalagmites in a cave, varying their heights and concentrations. A physical organization with regimes of proliferation and differentiation; a series of columns, platforms, arches, curtains, domes and caverns emerge, qualifying the project spatially and atmospherically.Water embedding / Dripping, duration, delay by integrating water within its spatial and material logics, the project promotes a form of architecture that systematizes dripping pulses and speeds, consistently exacerbating the water drop as primal atmospheric matter.”

“This is accomplished through the hanging components of the roof topography, constituted geometrically and materially like textile prisms placed upside-down with a partial granular substratum filling. They are fed by a hydraulic network that continuously irrigates using measured doses. When filled with small amounts of water, these elements act as regulators or atmospheric interfaces, experiencing a phenomenon of absorption and release where, through capillarity, water drops gradually flow against gravity along the prism edges, slowing down the time of concentration and fall. This delay process that consequently produces multiple dripping rhythms over the ground topography, formally demonstrates management of duration. It materializes an architectural form in which water can be particularized in a system that has extensive effects over an area. The delay principle, established through mediation by the prisms, is translated into the possibility to define the layout and use the water as it drops.Form Principles as an abstraction and geometrical transposition of the stalactite, a three-dimensional spatial component, is developed. A three-phase prism with an equilateral base that varies in height and area. These elements proliferate in a grid system, forming curves of different lengths and intensities. This variation capacity component, allows to effectively producing diversity of spaces, textures, patterns and interactions with environmental dynamics based in a principle of material abundance.Geometrical studies from two dimensional curve variation and three dimensional arrangements constrained to equilateral modules. These forms of proliferation deliver rich arch formations, defining interiorities, structural points and modular connectivity.”

WATER CATHEDRAL | GUN Architects

WATER CATHEDRAL | GUN Architects

WATER CATHEDRAL | GUN Architects

via WATER CATHEDRAL | GUN Architects.

ECOVATIVE GROWN MATERIALS


Ecovative are a New York based research group who are growing a new material using fungi. The process uses an organic aggregate, such as seed husk or other agricultural / industrial by products, as its base. This aggregate is mixed with mycelium fungi and packed into a former to give it the desired geometry. Being a loose aggregate it will fill any former created. The mixture is then left for several days, over which time the fungi grows into a microscopic web of fibres which bond the aggregate into a solid mass. This growth requires no water, light or petrochemical inputs. Every cubic inch of material contains a matrix of 8 miles of tiny mycelial fibres. At the end of the process, they put the materials through a dehydration and heat treating process to stop the growth. This final process ensures that there will never be any spores or allergen concerns.
The company are currently exploring applications of the material in multiple industries from packaging and consumer products to architecture and automotive manufacture. They are also looking for potential partners with which to develop aspects of the material further.

More info: http://www.ecovativedesign.com/

Waste = Food (Cradle to Cradle)

Below is an inspiring documentary on the Cradle to Cradle design concept of the chemist Michael Braungart and the architect William McDonough:

 

Summary of the C2C approach:

“Rather than seeing materials as a waste management problem, as in the cradle-to-grave system, cradle-to-cradle design is based on the closed-loop nutrient cycles of nature, in which there is no waste. Just like nature, the cradle-to-cradle design seeks, from the start, to create buildings, communities and systems that generate wholly positive effects on human and environmental health. Not less waste and fewer negative effects, but more positive effects of regeneration, seed, growth, plant, product, “upcycle” and/or seed, growth, plant, product etc etc. One organism’s waste is food for another, and nutrients and energy flow perpetually in closed-loop cycles of growth, decay and rebirth. Waste equals food.

This is not just wishful thinking or “concept” design. The cradle-to-cradle philosophy is driving a growing movement devoted to developing safe materials, products, supply chains and manufacturing processes throughout architecture and industry. It is being adopted by some of the world’s most influential corporations, including Ford Motor Group, Nike and Herman Miller Furniture. Even densely populated China is looking at development and the impact of the rapidly growing population on housing development.”

via designindustry

Above: Nike Considered Design, made respecting the C2C protocol

Above: Herman Miller Mira Chair based on the C2C protocol

Above: The Ford Model U and its compostable body parts. Made respecting the C2C protocol

Above: Ford Motor Company River Rouge production plant (Michigan, USA)

Above:  Ferrer Research & Development Center, Barcelona; a.k.a. “The Butterfly Building” by William McDonough + Partners

Above Cradle to Cradle certification

Above: William McDonough (Architect) and Michael Braungart (Chemist)

More on Cradle to Cradle:
-Link to the book: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Wikipedia article
Cradle to Cradle Community
Cradle to Cradle Facebook Page
Interview of McDonough

For more documentaries, go to http://documentaryheaven.com/
via Rory O’Grady from A Beautiful Planet