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Focus_Day RenderBurning Man Art Instalation Proposal

Focus when assembled would be a material artifact, approximately 8-9meters height tower, triangular plan with the central focal point, where is the place for the fire.

The tower envelope consists of three walls that form a continuous surface. Wall construction should follow a simple process, adding rows of intersecting components one after another, starting from the base until the last row.

The design of Focus started by looking into a mathematical system of an Euclid’s algorithm and it was a way to generate it’s constituent elements, but it didn’t define the final physical form. The mathematical expression was left at some point during the creative process, when it was found as a formalized system that is closed and univocal and does not contain qualities of the artwork.

Focus_Building Sequence-01

Although this artwork started as a mathematical formula, which was a rational and ideal expression intended for the rational and conceptual human being. Later Focus became a work of art when an intention of it was to be understandable and perceivable to all, this was achieved by mixing sensible matter and form of mathematical symbols with conceptual content.

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Focus physical model2

Focus expresses itself in its own name and name holds its meaning. The name Focus has multiple meanings as the art work will always have embedded message given by the artist, but at the same time it is not necessary to know the story behind it. It will have a meaning that participants would give to it themselves. In Latin, the word Focus means hearth, fireplace, center of interest or activity, but it is not necessary to know the meaning to understand it. Focus would be a perceptive expression, as perception is the act and the result of the act, which consists through the senses and the mind.

Focus Interior Space

Focus would create strong sensual experiences for the participants and observers. It is designed to play with visual, tactile, aural experiences and perception of these qualities would bring a human being into play with his own entity.

Its purpose would be a matter of expression.  It would be at the service of nothing and no one, but at the same time it would exist to act on the human beings.

Focus_Night Image

Focus is the autonomous work for the autonomous human being who wanders around or goes inside to find what it holds, searching for the constitution of a meaning or, which amounts to the same, searching for ones own constitution.

Focus_Night Image2

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.

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.

LH.1

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.

LH.2

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.

LH.3

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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After developing a series of experiments with bio-plastic made from potato starch, glycerine and vinegar, Marilu Valente created a digital form-finding technique which uses the same principles as the elastic material. Below is a plan of the resulting building, a bio-polymer centre in the Polymer Valley in Thelford, U.K. We will be updating this post soon but wanted you to see how a complex three-dimensional Architecture can still be communicated through a beautiful 2D plan.

#PotatoStarchIsTheFuture

plan

Plan of the bio-plastic temple by Marilu Valente

Plan of the bio-plastic temple by Marilu Valente

Plan of the bio-plastic temple by Marilu Valente

It was DS10’s Final crit yesterday which concludes our BRIEF03:TEMPLE. Wonderful day with a wide spectrum of temples showing the concerns and fascinations of a group of twenty-one architectural students in 2013. A myriad of political and spiritual statements on today’s society helped by parametric design tools and physical modelling. Here is the list of all the themes that emerged in the third term:

  • Temple to Love and Lust in Brighton, U.K. – by Georgia-Rose Collard-Watson
  • Temple to Revolution in Tahrir Square, Egypt – by Luka Kreze
  • Temple to Making in the City of London, U.K. – by Michael Clarke
  • Temple to Vibrations on Mount Neru, Tanzania – by Dhiren Pattel
  • Temple to Crowdfunding the City of London, U.K. – by Sarah Shuttleworth
  • Temple to Infinity in the Mojave Desert, U.S.A – by Andrei Jippa
  • Temple to Augmented Reality near Oxford Street, London, U.K. – by Mark Simpson
  • Temple to Gin, near Kings Cross, London, U.K. – by George Guest
  • Temple to Permaculture, in Totness, U.K. – by Philp Hurrel
  • Temple to Bees, in the Olympic Park, London, U.K. – by Jake Alsop
  • Temple against Electro-Magnetic Radiations, in Snowdonia National Park, U.K. – by Chris Ingram
  • Temple against Pre-Packaged Meat, in Smithfield Market, London, U.K. – by Alex Woolgar
  • Temple to Bio-Polymers , in Thelford, U.K. – by Marilu Valente
  • Temple against Consumerism, in Selfridges, London, U.K. – by Jessica Beagleman
  • Temple to Online Knowledge, in the Sillicon Roundabour, London, U.K. – by Tim Clare
  • Temple to the Awareness of Death, in Mexico – by Thanasis Korras
  • Temple of Illusion, in South Bank, London, U.K.- by Daniel Dodds
  • Temple to Water on the Thames, London, U.K. – by William Garforth-Bless
  • Temple to Atheism in Lower Lea Valley Park, London, U.K. – by Emma Whitehead
  • Temple to Light in Elephant and Castle, London, U.K. – by Josh Haywood
  • Temple to Sun Worship in the Wyndham Council Estate, Camberwell London, U.K. – by Natasha Coutts

Thank you very much to all our external critiques: William Firebrace, Jeanne Sillett, Harri Lewis and Jack Munro.  Two weeks more to go until the hand-in of portfolios (28th May). Here are couple pictures:

Luka Kreze's thorned tensegrity architecture against dictatorship on Tahrir Square and a manual for revolution.

Luka Kreze’s thorned tensegrity architecture against dictatorship on Tahrir Square – A manual to start a revolution.

Jake Alsop's wax-generated temple for Bees

Jake Alsop’s wax-generated temple for Bees

Chris Ingram's Slate Community, away from electro-magnetic radiation

Chris Ingram’s Slate Community, away from electro-magnetic radiation

Marilu Valente's Digital/Physical experiement on elastic bio-polymer

Marilu Valente’s Digital/Physical experiement on elastic bio-polymer

Marilu Valente's diagramming of the  bio-polymer stretch

Marilu Valente’s diagramming of the bio-polymer stretch

Emma's  'Agora' - temple agora / forum for Sunday assembly -atheist congregation and for tech startup groups /music network Sofar sounds

Emma’s ‘Agora’ – forum for Sunday assembly – atheist congregation

Sarah Shuttleworth's Temple to crowdfunding - Kickstarter HQ

Sarah Shuttleworth’s Temple to crowdfunding – Kickstarter HQ

Crowdfunded structure for Sarah Shuttleworth's roof

Crowdfunded structure for Sarah Shuttleworth’s roof

Jessica Beagleman's "Atelier" on the roof of Selfridges is made of sewed pieces of plywood/

Jessica Beagleman’s “Atelier” on the roof of Selfridges is made of sewed pieces of plywood/

William Garforth-Bless'Temple to Water using a thin fiber glass shell and floating components on the Thames

William Garforth-Bless’Temple to Water using a thin fiber glass shell and floating components on the Thames

Philip Hurrell's Temple to the Transition Movement in Totness, Devon

Philip Hurrell’s Temple to the Transition Movement in Totness, Devon

Daniel Dodds' abstract for the Temple of Illustion

Daniel Dodds’ abstract for the Temple of Illustion

Tim Clare's temple to online knowledge is an irregular gridshell following learning spaces

Tim Clare’s temple to online knowledge is an irregular gridshell following learning spaces

The story of a reciprocal structure and a temple to making by Michael Clarke

The story of a reciprocal structure and a temple to making by Michael Clarke


WATCH.POP.EAT is an installation that focuses on the idea of ‘gifting’ through popcorn. In essence a large scale popcorn machine, that people can interact and engage with to produce an end product that is fun and tasty. A witty, but practical concept, which uses the sun and a cheap product (popcorn) to create an enclosed visual of kernels sporadically popping.

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The design uses a 43” aqua lens that, at its focal point creates enough heat for the kernels to pop. When water is poured over the thick clear vinyl (stretched over square frame) an almost perfect parabolic lens is created allowing the suns heat to be intensified.

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The sequence of use has five main stages; Scoop, Feed, Display, Gift and Eat. A simple sequence of events where the user scoops the kernels from the storage container, feeds them onto the heating bed, watches the experience of random popping, takes the popped popcorn from the salty or sweet containers as a gift and then finally eats the popcorn.

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PORTFOLIO_JANUARY.13Above: Night render showing how the ‘popcorn machine’ will be internally lit.

Below: Internal render showing the main event of the kernels popping.

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