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.
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.
The design of Suncatcher has derived from a flock of birds following the sun.
How birds fly together is a fascinating, beautiful phenomenon, which is still progressively being researched under the theory of ‘Swarm Intelligence’. This movement is self organising, so there is not leader or hierarchy within the group. Instead they work together to form one single formation. The properties that emerge can only be obtained by the system as a whole, not its individual parts.
This interaction reflects the ethics of Burning Man and how each year individual people from all over the world collaborate together to create a self supporting community. Consequently, Suncatcher’s theoretical and physical formation emphasises aspects of Burning Mans principles, such as, communal effort, participation and decommodification.
Physically, Suncatcher will demonstrate the dynamic movement of birds, which will both be a radical contrast to the flat surface of the desert, whilst also complementing the mountains that surrounds the site.
As the spaces created are emerged from the path of the sun; they provide orientation and framed views for participants to enjoy their surroundings.
Different shadows are produced from this skin throughout the day, depending on the position of the sun, representing a continuous movement of the birds formation.
The title Suncatcher refers to an ornamental object which ‘catches the light’ it can be thought of as the optical equivalent of a wind chime. As the design is developed around the suns location and the skin ‘glows’ when light is shone on it, exposing its complex structure and beautiful shadows.
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.
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.
Build Sequence above.
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.
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.
The 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.
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
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.
The regular hexagonal pattern of convection cells is created when a thin sheet of viscous oil is heated uniformly from below. A small amount of aluminium is added to the oil to reveal the pattern of convection, an experiment first conducted by Henri Bénard, a French physicist, in 1900.
The convection cell phenomenon is only visible when you add mark-particles. The following experiments were filmed with a blue filter on the camera so that the aluminium particles become clearly visible.
My videos below demonstrate the nonlinear self-organisation of the convection cells a few seconds after stirring.
The movement is the upwelling of warmer liquid from the heated bottom layer. This upwelling spontaneously organises into a regular pattern of cells on low heat.
As the temperature increases, the cells’ pattern becomes more irregular and the speed of the moving particles increases as shown in the videos:
In order to follow the trajectories of the mark-particles I took long exposure photos shown below:
Recently I spent the day making ice crystals in the kitchen. The relatively simple experiment requires little more than a plastic bottle, some dry ice, and a lot of patience!
In short you surround the bottle with dry ice to lower the temperature to the crystal forming region ( 0 to -20), have a source of water within the bottle – a wet sponge – to saturate the air within the bottle, and a point on which the crystals can form – Here I used a fishing line running through the middle of the bottle.
At the 10 minute mark the first signs of crystals were materialising
A further 10 minutes into the experiment and proper flakes began to form
At the 45 minute mark better crystals had formed on the sides of the growth chamber than on the nylon thread.
An hour into the experiment and the crystals had started to grow radically and lost much of the symmetry found in the earlier stages. I put this down to the varying conditions brought on by continuously opening the chamber to take pictures, so i decided to repeat the experiment under more controlled conditions and left the grown chamber untouched for an hour. This allowed the development of a nicely symmetrical fernlike dendrite branch (nearly 1cm long!!):
Below are two videos made from the exercises shown at the DS10/Inter9 Grasshopper class at the Architectural Association.
The first video shows the trail left by points constrained by springs, end points and gravity. The Arch moves up and to the side, leaving a beautiful trace which reminded me of the pictures of Edouard Muybridge. It was done with Grasshopper and the free Kangaroo plugin by Daniel Piker.
The second video is a very simple example of recursion using Hoopsnake byVolatile Prototype for Grasshopper: A line rotates on another line and this new line becomes the currrent one on which the rotation is done and so one and so forth. Depending on the angle of the rotation and its location on the curve, these amazing patterns get created.