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A deployable structure includes an enclosed mechanical linkage capable of transformation between expanded and collapsed configurations while maintaining its shape.

These types of structures have the advantage of creating versatile, modulated spaces, with easy and fast assembly which generate benefits such as adaptability, flexibility and space transformation.

Charles Hoberman pioneered a type of deployable structure based on curved scissor pairs as seen in his Hoberman sphere. The unfolding structure resembles an expanding geodesic sphere which can reach a size up to five times larger than the initial one. It consists of six loop assemblies (or great circles), each made of 60 elements which fold and unfold in a scissor-like motion. Portfolio 2.jpg

Hoberman Sphere by Charles Hoberman

A loop assembly is formed of at least three scissors-pairs, at least two of the pairs comprising two identical rigid angulated strut elements, each having a central and two terminal pivot points with centres which do not lie in a straight line, each strut being pivotally joined to the other of its pair by their central pivot points. The terminal pivot points of each of the scissors-pairs are pivotally joined to the terminal pivot points of the adjacent pair such that both scissors-pairs lie essentially in the same plane.Portfolio 22

Regular curved scissor-pairs in motion

When this loop is folded and unfolded certain critical angles are constant and unchanging. These unchanging angles allow for the overall geometry of structure to remain constant as it expands or collapses.Portfolio 23

Regular and irregular curved scissor-pairs in motion

The above diagrams show a closed loop-assembly of irregular scissors pairs where each scissors-pair is pivotally joined by its two pairs of terminal pivot points to the terminal pivot points of its two adjacent scissors-pairs. This loop-assembly is an approximation of a polygon in the sense that the distances between adjacent central pivot points are equal to the corresponding lengths of the sides of the polygon. Further, the angles between the lines joining adjacent central pivot points with other similarly formed lines in the assembly are equal to the corresponding angles in the polygon.

The beams forming scissor-pairs can be of almost any shape, providing that the three connection points form a triangle. The angle of the apex would dictate the number of scissor-pairs that can be linked together to form a closed loop.Portfolio 28.jpg

Scissor-pairs of varying morphologies

My physical experiments started with materials that would allow a degree of bending and torsion in order to test the limits of the system. Using polypropylene for the angular beams and metal screws for the joints, I created these playful models that bend as they expand and contract.Portfolio 214.jpg

Later I started using MDF for the beams as well as joints and noticed that a degree of bending was present in the expanded state of the larger circle.Portfolio 215.jpg

After using curved scissor pairs of the same angle to form closed linkages, I decided to combine two types of scissors and vary the proportion between the elements to achieve a loop which would offer the highest ratio between the expanded and contracted state.Portfolio 216.jpg

900 curved scissors loops

Portfolio 217.jpg

900 curved scissors with linear scissors loops

The above diagrams show a combination of 900 curved scissors with linear (1800) scissors to form rectangles that expand and contract. The length of the 900 beam was gradually increased  and by measuring the diagonals  of the most expanded and most contracted forms, I obtained the following ratios for the three rectangles:

R1 = 0.87

R2 = 0.67

R3 = 0.64

By keeping the curved scissor with the best ratio, I created three more rectangles, this time by varying the length of the linear beam. The following ratios were obtained:

R1 = 0.64

R2 = 0.59

R3 = 0.67Portfolio 218.jpg

900 curved scissors with linear scissors loops

I then took the linkage with the best ratio of 0.59 and rotated it 900 to form a cube which expands and contracts.Portfolio 219.jpgPortfolio 220.jpg

Combined linkage cubes

The change of state from open to closed is visually attractive and could have the potential of creating spaces that are transitional.Portfolio 223If more linear scissors are placed between the 900 scissors, a better contraction ratio is obtained.Portfolio 222

Combined linkage cubes with two linear scissors

It is the end of the second term for the University of Westminster and what a term for DS10! Four projects almost completed at BuroHappold’s engineering headquarters, Three projects to build at the Burning Man festival this summer. We could not be more happy and proud of our students… And it is not finished: after having produced a timeline of the scientific discovery and science-fictional predictions, they have started designing a future city (Brief03) based on their Brief01 and Brief02 work. Here are some pictures showing the students and their current research. Happy Easter everyone!

DS10 in our studio space at the University of Westminster

DS10 in our studio space at the University of Westminster

Joe Leach working on the Falling Leaves, his installation for Buro Happold engineering

Joe Leach working on the Falling Leaves, his installation for Buro Happold engineering

Diana Raican finishing the Dissolving Cubes installation at the Nervi Room, BuroHappold

Diana Raican finishing the Dissolving Cubes installation at the Nervi Room, BuroHappold

Garis Iu completing the Meander, his curved Origami installation for BuroHappold

Garis Iu completing the Meander, his curved Origami installation for BuroHappold

Charlotte Yates' Jitterbug Prototype for Buro Happold Engineering. Client Meeting with Neil Billet, Andrew Best and  James Solly

Charlotte Yates’ Jitterbug Prototype for Buro Happold Engineering. Client Meeting with Neil Billet, Andrew Best and James Solly

Lorna Jackson showing one of the gifts for our Kickstarter Campaign

Lorna Jackson showing one of the gifts for our Kickstarter Campaign

John Konings showing his prototype for an Origami City on Water generating electricity from the waves in Holland.

John Konings showing his prototype for an Origami City on Water generating electricity from the waves in Holland.

Joe Leach showing his Burning Man proposal model  to  Mike Tonkin

Joe Leach showing his Burning Man proposal model to Mike Tonkin

Alex Berciu showing the environemental, structural and programatic rules for the growth of his vertical city

Alex Berciu showing the environemental, structural and programatic rules for the growth of his vertical city

Alex Berciu showing the environemental, structural and programatic rules for the growth of his vertical city

Alex Berciu showing the environemental, structural and programatic rules for the growth of his vertical city

Alex Berciu showing the environemental, structural and programatic rules for the growth of his vertical city

Alex Berciu showing the environemental, structural and programatic rules for the growth of his vertical city

Sarah Stell's African Rural and tribal mega-city

Sarah Stell’s African Rural and tribal mega-city

Ieva Ciocyte's Solar chimneys City made from a network of water purifying farms in a polluted land.

Ieva Ciocyte’s Solar chimneys City made from a network of water purifying farms in a polluted land.

Tom Jelley showing his Floating Solar Mirrors City.

Tom Jelley showing his Floating Solar Mirrors City.

Garis Iu's extruded plastic floating city based on curved origami.

Garis Iu’s extruded plastic floating city based on curved origami.

Joe Leach's Green Corridor City in the Amazonian Forest

Joe Leach’s Green Corridor City in the Amazonian Forest

Irina Ghuizan showing her City in the Sky

Irina Ghuizan showing her City in the Sky

Lorna Jackson showing her feminist city and her winning burning man project made from Spirohedron

Lorna Jackson showing her feminist city and her winning burning man project made from Spirohedron

Toby Plunkett showing his cymatic city generated from sound patterns

Toby Plunkett showing his cymatic city generated from sound patterns

Great to be back! Here are some pictures of our pin-up. Students have 5 more days to go before their interim portfolio submission and seven days before submitting their Burning Man and Wikihouse proposals. Then we will move on to brief03: Temple. Very excited about the projects! Thank you very much to Nick Ierodiaconou and Alastair Parvin  creators of the Wikihouse from 00:/ Architects for their very insightful comments.

130117_Pin-Up_15Above: Dan Dodds and Phil Hurrell swinging on a “collaborative” harmonograph.

130117_Pin-Up_20Above: Michael Clarke showing his reciprocal Wikihouse in frontof Nick and Alastair

130117_Pin-Up_1Above: Jessica Beagelman‘s loops taking shape.

130117_Pin-Up_2Above: Our mad unit space, filled with large models done at Grymsdyke farm.

Some pictures of our last Cross-Crit. Thank you very much to our crit David Andreen, Jack Munro, Dusan Decermic and Anthony Boulanger.

Emma Whitehead's convection cell sectional models.Above: Emma Whitehead’s convection cells sectional models

Michael Clarke's parametric Abeille VaultAbove: Michael Clarke’s Parametric Abeille’s Vault

Luka Kreze's tensegrity experiements

Luka Kreze’s tensegrity tower experiments

Marilu Valente's Starch form finding experiments

Marilu Valente’s potato starch form finding experiements

Below are couple images from our first Pin-Up. Thank you to Jack Munro for the great V-Ray/photoshop tricks tutorial.

Above: Thanasis Korras’ Tetrahedron Fractal paper model.

Above: Dan Dodds‘ homemade harmonograph

Above: Marilu Valente‘s pressure sensor’s Arduino/Grasshopper/Firefly interface.

The academic year is over for DS10! Thank you everyone for the great enthusiasm that you have put in our unit and the wonderfully creative work which you have produced all year long. We are looking forward to learning more with you next year as well as pursuing our research agenda on a “post-crisis” society and a self-reliant, digitally and physically informed Architecture.

Below are couple pictures from our final crit and the end of year show. See you next year!

Thank you to the guest critiques: MAciej Woroniecki, Pavlos Ferreos, Magnus Larsson, Kester Rattenbury, Ioseb Andrazashvili, Niko Japaridze

Above: DS10’s exhibition space at OPEN2012 end of year Westminster Show. The vacuumed balloons installation is inspired by Emma Whitehead‘s work.

Above: DS10’s exhibition space at OPEN2012 end of year Westminster Show

Above: More DS10’s exhibition space

Above: Toby quite anxious that the balloon arch might fall or shrink…

Above: Michael is bringing some light to the small city of Rattenberg

Above: Jack Munro‘s presentation on the blood solidified sand dunes.

Above: Carly Mallon, presenting a new type of Prison.

Above: Anam Hasan and Maria Valente presenting their “Spun Architecture”

Couple joyful pictures of our last pin-up and tutorials:

Natasa Christou‘s Cyprus Laser Cut model with Buffer Zone

George Hintzen‘s self-intersecting structure

Jake Alsop‘s beautiful Light Carving Technique

Megan Sadler‘s fabric structure for ASOS is getting environemental feedback

Natasa Christou is recycling the left-overs from workshops in Cyprus to help connect people at the Buffer Zone.

Chris Ingram‘s growing TechHub structure

Marina Karamali‘s models for Time Bank’s HQ in Athens

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