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.

DS10 End of Term Cross-Crit

Below are pictures of our DS10 End of Term “Cross-Crit” in which tutors from other Diploma Studios at Westminster University join as critics along with external guests.

Thank you so much to Dusan Decermic (ArcLab), Anthony Boulanger (AYArchitect), Magnus Larsson (, Pablo Zamorano (, Louise Mackie (Warm Babies), Karl Kjelstrup-Johnson (Skin Graph) and Adam Holloway (PLP Architecture) for taking the time to come and give very helpful comments !

Students now have until the 24th January 2012 to complete their Burning Man Proposal!

Above: Michael Clarke‘s Fluorescent Tube Weave Night Club

Above: Jack Munro‘s Salt-Solidified Sand-Dunes live demonstration

Above: Magnus Larsson and Louise Mackie commenting a Salt-Solidified Sand Shell

Above: Kayleigh Dickson‘s Pin Induced Desert Crack Formation

Above: Natasa Christou‘s Collaborative Popsicle Assembly Structures

Above: Megan Sadler‘s Tensile Fabric Soft Resting Space

24th November Tutorials

Below are several pictures from our last tutorials.

Thank you very much to Pablo Zamorano and Nacho Marti for their great presentation on the Expandable Surface Pavilion  AA-Emtech Masters project.

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 Above: Natasa Christou‘s Popsicles Structure 

 Above: Megan Sadler‘s Tensile Landscape 

 Above: Maria Valente‘s Arduino-controlled undulating fabric machine. 

Above: Presentation and discussion with  Pablo Zamorano and Nacho Marti

17th November Tutorials

Below is a slideshow of our last two weeks’ tutorial and the great lecture from the Architects of WarmBaby  explaining the making of the Wet Dreams Pavillion at the Burning Man Festival.

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Above: Luka Kreze‘s strategy for Burning Man using plastic bags and air. 

Above: Emma Whitehead‘s Vacuumed balls and Balloons 

Above: Anam Hasan‘s Ecotect Studies of Solar Balloons 

28th October Cross-Critics

Below is a slideshow of our first DS10 “cross-crit” with the other tutors of Westminster School of Architecture and invited external critics.

Thank you very much to Jeanne Sillett, William Firebrace, Gabby ShawcrossLawrence Friesen, Gennaro Senatore and David Andreen for your very helpful feedback !

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Above: Joe Magri showing his constrained laser-cut plywood sheet  

 Above: Maria Valente shows how water vibrates under sound waves 

 Above: Natasa Christou‘s Popsicles Bomb 

 Above: Antony Joury showing his Solar Still Toilets and Kangaroo/Fabric Experiments 

 Above: Jack Munro showing his Solidified Sand and loose fabric strategy  

Above: Chris Mount’s Tree Telephone  

 Above: Anam Asan‘s light sensor activated inflating bin liners.



20th October Tutorials

Below is a slideshow of our tutorials today.

Keep up the good work towards our first crit next Thursday!

It will be the end of Brief 1, Learn and beginning of Brief 2 Burn in which you will develop your research into a 1:1 functional structure for Burning Man.

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 Above: Carolyn Butlers green straws Geodesic dome with unfolded pattern

 Above: Maria Valente‘s accoustic wave surfaces through Mathematica

Above: Antony Joury‘s  weaving surfaces physical model and GH/Kangaroo model



DS10 Pin-up 1

Below is a slideshow of our first Pin-Up (6th October 2011). Students mainly looked at two experiments from either Frei Otto or Buckminster Fuller in both digital and analogue ways. Next step: Re-visiting these experiments with your own techinques and ideas, keep up the good work DS10 !

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 Above: Jack Munro doing some magic with sand and holes in a box (inspired by Frei Otto) 

 Above: Results – Almost immediate formation of cells from the sand falling through the holes

Above: Carolyne Butler showing her first experiment based on Frei Otto’s wet wool threads system.

 Above: Chris Ingram‘s nicely formatted Portfolio  

 Above: Nice little model of branching threads by  Chris Mount