Latex & Thread Skin Model 02

This model takes the Latex & Thread Skin Model 01 to a larger scale developing the minimal system and forming a 1:20 fragment of a potential skin. The result is an intricate but surprisingly strong web.

Latex & Thread Skin Model 01

This small scale model attempts to create cleaner intersections between threads of the minimal system by using latex instead of resin, previously explored. The latex forms a web like surface joining the threads smoothly. This model is made by cross referencing all points i.e. each pin is connected to all other pins by the thread. The latex is then applied and the model is then relaxed to allow the overlength of thread to form find its minimal path.

Random Linear Growth – Hoopsnake

This example shows an animation of my ‘work-in-progress’ Grasshopper definition that uses Hoopsnake to recursively perform a ‘copy by mirror’ function on a geometric form. The two examples are based on a cube and a tetrahedron. The growth is linear; expanding by one module with each step. The position of each new module is determined by a new randomly selected face of the preceding module.

I would like to develop the definition so that it doesn’t self intersect, so any comments with ideas on how to achieve this would be appreciated!

The tower of David

In last February, the NY Times wrote an article about a very interesting skyscraper in Caracas, the Torre de David,  that seems to carry a good analogy with the current Venezuelan situation since Hugo Chavez has been elected since 1999. In fact this 150 meter tall building is currently hosting about 2500 squatters who find in it, a good way to dwell in this housing crisis time. This skyscraper that was originally supposed to become an architectural symbol and an economically operative building of the Financial power never finished its construction because of the national financial crisis in the late 90′s.

To read more:

http://www.domusweb.it/it/architecture/la-torre-di-david/

Aetherius: the rhythm of wind

Aetherius: the rythm of wind
Aetherius: the rythm of wind

Vibrations are the very basis of life. Wherever we look in Nature we see self organising and self regulating systems that are in a state of constant vibration, oscillation, undulation and pulsation. Inspiration and expiration of the lungs, systole and diastole of the heart are only two basic examples.

The concept of Aetherius is to translate vibrations into a self organised and self regulated structure. Aetherius makes the participants experience an ephemeral ultra-light architecture in constant movement.

The artwork moves to the rhythm of the wind and becomes a living structure.
It is a visual experience as well as being an interactive experience. As the artwork moves, the participants react to its unpredictable behaviour. Not only Aetheius moves with the windy climatic conditions, but it can also be animated by the particpants.
In summary it is a delicate ephemeral structure that reflects the subtle nature of a vibrating system.

TETRA

TETRA is an installation that exploits the potential of mass participation to create a form that emerges from the interactions of hundreds of people with the construction system over a number of days.

Inspired by the work of R. Buckminster Fuller into space-packing polyhedra, it explores the unique three dimensional geometrical properties of the regular tetrahedron and related ‘tetrahelices’ [also known Boerdijk–Coxeter Helices]. Their geometries provide an invisible framework for the participants to work within. The modular tetrahedral construction system will be used by the participants to create forms that automatically diverge from one another.

These in turn provide spaces separated from other participants for individuals to pause and reflect on the location and nature of their surroundings. TETRA’s position out on the edge of Black Rock City means that once the structure starts to take shape, participants will be able to climb to positions that afford views across the city. Just as Burning Man asks participants to take a step back from the consumer capitalism, so TETRA allows participants to step back and view Black Rock City as a whole

TETRA is a modular kit of parts that are assembled by participants into a structure that changes form over the course of the festival. There are 160 modules, each one a tetrahedron made from four equilateral triangle shaped pieces of CNC cut exterior plywood. Each triangular face has a hole cut from its centre which, as well as decreasing the overall weight of the module, allows the modules to become rungs in a structure that can be climbed up, on, in and through.

The ply edges of the four plywood triangles are bound together with rope to ensure a joint that can transmit loads in tension from one sheet of ply to the adjacent two. There are pre-drilled re-enforced holes near each vertex to allow for adjacent modules to be bolted together with bolts and wing-nuts by participants.

Each module is designed for one person to carry while climbing sections of the structure already built. The participants are able to climb any of the structure that is already built, and bolt their new module onto the existing structure. Once built, participants are able to climb up, select a module to remove and move to another place. This means that the overall form is not set by the designer, but emerges from the collective desires of a large group of participants.

Because of the intrinsic geometry of tetrahedra and tetrahelices, the form will always contain diverging branches with inhabitable spaces within them.

Magnetic Tetrahedra

This animation shows a model made from modular magnetic tetrahedra. Each tetrahedron has a side length of 50mm, and contains four spherical neodymium magnets.

The tetrahedra build up according to rules that stem from their dihedral angle [angle between two faces]. The dihedral angle of a tetrahedron given by θ=arccos(1/3) [approx 70.5288°]. This means that five tetrahedra placed face to face around a single axis fall approximately 7.2° short of a full 360°. Because of this, the tetrahedra do not fill space, and instead form sections of helical structures called Boerdijk–Coxeter Helices [Named ‘Tetrahelices’ by Buckminster Fuller].

The magnets in the tetrahedra ensure that when placed by hand, they lock together face to face to form structures that completely follow these rules. When pushed just within range of the magnets of other tetrahedra, they exhibit self organising properties, but due to the power of the magnets, occasionally stick edge to edge or vertex to vertex instead of face to face.

MINIMAL STRUCTURAL SYSTEM

This model uses the process I have previously explored, of minimal path systems by Frei Otto, but attempts to take the concept a stage further to create a minimal structural system.

The thread lengths are given approximately a 12.5% over-length leaving them quite loose and messy when dry. The model is then dipped in a water and soap solution and hung upside down. The wet threads bunch together, as seen in previous experiments, but due to the increased over length they also dip downwards creating a domed form. When dry, the model can be coated with resin in order to cast the form. The model can then be turned over maintaining the rigid minimal structural system. This process generates a strangely appealing aesthetic.

Obuchi Lab – Critical Mass

Obuchi Lab  Is the Studio led by Yusuke Obuchi at Tokyo University‘s Global 3.0 Architecture and Urbanism. Yusuke is a former Intermediate Unit Master at the Architectural Association with Alan Dempsey and Eugene Han as well as director at the AA DRL Masters. He won the Archiprix for the Wave Garden project (below) in which a large membrane made of Piezzo-Electric components generated electricity from the waves movement.

 Above: The Wave Garden by Yusuke Obuchi

Below is a short description of the course and couple images and videos taken from the Critical Mass blog. Critical Mass is also the title of a book written by Philip Ball.  “The course is dedicated to the research on the emergence of global network society and its effect on architecture, urbanism and design culture. It is an interdisciplinary experimental design research connecting architecture, engineering and computations to theorize and to develop design proposals for the contemporary environments.”

Above: Stick Team’s Project on Self-Organizing components

Above: Images from a workshop at Obuchi Lab

Above: Minimal Surface Pavilion

Manuel A. Báez – Crystal & Flame: Form and Process

Manuel A. Báez is an Associate Professor at Carleton University, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, where he is also the Coordinator of Crossings Inerdisciplinary Research and the Director of the Carleton De-Formation Research Unit. Previously, he worked and practiced in New York City while teaching at the Architecture Schools at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and the Rhode Island School of Design.

His work as an architect, artist and researcher draws inspiration from the generative potential of the forms, structures and integrative systems generated by elemental processes that exist throughout the natural environment. His educational concerns, interests and objectives are focused on the development of teaching methods and procedures derived from the research.”

Below are some images of his work, students work and his TED lecture. He explores the “malleability of weaved bamboo cells assembled as a fabric” and produces beautiful thin and delicate generative structures.

 Above: ©Manuel A. Báez, Suspended Animation: Coiled serpent, from the Phenomenological Garden Installation , Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bamboo dowels & rubber bands.   Fabrication from membrane assembled with square cellular units. 

Above: ©Manuel A. Báez Crossings Workshop, Suspended Animation Series: Cellular Forms Studies.  Work from the Crossings Workshop by Diana Park using heptagonal cellular units casting shadows on wall. 

Above: ©Manuel A. Báez, Phenomenological Garden Installation, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bamboo dowels & rubber bands.  Two columns are transformed into an intricately patterned ceiling structure.  Emergent patterns are revealed as one walks around the installation or, as shown in Fig. 2, as one looks at the reflected ceiling.  Fabrication from membrane assembled with square cellular units.  

Above: ©Manuel A. Báez, Crossings Workshop Exhibition, Suspended Animation Series: Cellular Forms Studies, Koussevitzky Art Gallery, Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, MA, Bamboo dowels & rubber bands.  Works by Crossings Workshop students using membranes assembled from cellular units. 

Above:  ©Manuel A. Báez Crossings Workshop, Suspended Animation Series: “Torus”, Cellular Forms Studies, Bamboo dowels & plastic tubing.  Work from the Crossings Workshop by Natalia Kukleva using square cellular units, 6′ – 0″ diameter.  Top: side view, bottom: view from above.