The Fractal Hourglass

The Fractal Hourglass counts down to the singularity, the moment that artificial super-intelligence triggers an unprecedented shift in human civilisation. The concept of recursively self-improved AI is portrayed by a tower of iterated fractal trusses, in which time is measured by a cascade of light.

Triangular steel trusses array to form a 15-foot tall hourglass silhouette, where scaled repetitions within each truss form a lattice of increasing complexity and infinite bounds. The visual density of each truss intensifies at each fractal iteration, culminating in the filling of the lower hourglass bulb, representing the finite time remaining until the singularity. At night, a dynamic cascade of LEDs will flow on and off from the upper to the lower bulb, a spectacle alluding to sand pouring through an hourglass.

burning man -blog1.jpg

The steel tubes forming the piece range from a diameter of 1.5″ in lengths from 1 to 3-feet, which are hammered flat and bolted to form the main structure, and 0.5″ diameter tubes welded inside to form the decorative fractal repetitions.

burning man- blog2.jpg

On approach, the tense drama of time running out is visible through the concentration of material in the bottom of the hourglass, provoking an instinct to stall the process. Burners have a choice of how to experience the hourglass- whether that is to ascend the structure to experience the inversion of the hourglass as the bulb empties, where ascension serves as a sanctuary from the saturation of technology and AI in the lower bulb. Or they can recline on the ground and let their eyes weave through the layers of trusses and bathe in the saturation and complexity of technological advancement. Or simply to turn away and let what effectively has become a natural process to take its course. At night, the cascading light display forms an even more immersive encounter with the hourglass, as waves of light repeat the process of time as it funnels through and fills the lower bulb, swarming anyone who is inside.

 

The finite nature of fractals in the hourglass represents the capacity for infinite artificial intelligence- each increment provides an equally stable steel structure, whilst having the capacity to use less and less material, but only to a point. It is not possible for this fractal to reach infinity and be constructed at a human scale. This poses the question of, at which point on the way to infinity do humans get before their intelligence can be overtaken by AI- the moment of the singularity. Is it too late to invert the hourglass and, given the choice, would you want to?

The Fractal Hourglass allows for Burners to take a moment to relish on their existence as humans, with the capacity to orchestrate their own experience, something which AI’s currently don’t possess. Artificial intelligence is currently an opportunity to shape a future experience where humans can outsource themselves, freeing up valuable time and energy. The hourglass serves as a visual symbol that human existence is fleeting so long as AI is permeating our lives, and provides a timer for the impending singularity, a moment that will transform the world as we know it, a reminder that we still have the alluring capacity to define and create.

 

‘The first ultra-intelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control.’

I J Good

 

 

Auxetic Assemble

As the Maker World develops, we want to have a greater impact on our environment, the spaces we live in. Auxetic Assemble gives you a chance to build your own furniture and have a input in your product. Auxetic Assemble gives you the chance to buy either the cut parts for the product or the instructions and CNC cutting files to then source your own material, cut your own product and assemble your work. The future of this adaptable design system allows the product to be fitted and designed to your require space.

 

The Pavilion

I have set up a Kickstarter Campaign in order to Fund a Pavilion in Hackney. The Pavilion is the next step in the journey to developing this system to its future potential. The construction process used for the plywood shelves will be developed at the larger scale to develop a pavilion to display the process of constructing the shelves and to exhibit the product. The Pavilion walls will become the seating, shelving and tables for the space. This is a chance to explore the system at a larger scale in order for further development for future of housing, an adaptable system that can be applied to a unique space and engages everyone as its workforce to build it.

Kickstarter Page

 

The Products

 

The design system has been developed into shelving product to sell as rewards, both in cardboard and plywood.

Table Top Plywood Shelves

Table Top Cardboard Shelves

Kickstart Photo 02

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

Follow the links to the Kickstarter Page to help this project be realized, Click on any image for the Kickstarter page link. Thank you.

 

Bending Lattice System

My initial studies stemmed from researching into Stellation. This, in simple terms, is the process of extending  polygon in two dimensions, polyhedron in three dimensions, or, in general, a polytope in n dimensions, to form a new figure. Through researching the application of this process, I came across the sculptures created by George Hart, as he has experimented with stellated geometries to which are subdivided to create mathematical interweaving structures.Stellation 1

My Research into the method and calculations of George Hart’s Mathematical Sculpture’s focused on the sculpture ‘Frabjous’. Through rigorous testing and model making I have understood the rules behind the complex form. This is based on the form of a stellated icosahedron, whose shape is contained within a dodecahedron.grey card model

Lines are drawn from one point, to a point mirrored at one edge of the face of the dodecahedron form – as shown in the diagram. This creates intersecting lines at each face as you can see from the diagrams below. Each dividing line has two intersection points, with symmetry at the center of the line. The sculpture aims to avoid the intersections of these lines by introducing a sine curve with the domain 0 to 2*pi. As you can see, each component is exactly the same – for this model, 30 components are used.

george hart diagram 1george hart diagram 2george hart diagram 3

`To simplify the construction of the sculpture, I extracted a build-able section which uses ten components in total. Two of these sections are then weaved together and joined up by a further ten single components to form the entire sculpture.Diagram Sequence of Researched SculptureOne Component ImageryGeometry 2

Following this research, I extracted the concept of avoiding the intersection and subdivided a cube with lines from each corner of the cube. These lines were then weaved around eachother using a sine curve with a domain of 0 to pi. I then mirrored the curves and rotated them to create an intertwining form.Avoiding Self Intersection 2

Another test was created with the same process, however subdividing a cube using the midpoint of each face. – This creates an octahedral geometry.Avoiding Self Intersection octahedron

Using this interweaving geometry, I have created different three dimensional arrays to create a spatial form. The concept of avoiding intersections naturally cause a structure to fail. To form a structurally efficient version of this geometry, I introduced the idea of a reciprocal structure, and allowed the beams to self support by resting on eachother. This did not create a structure strong enough to stand on, however through adding a cube whose dimensions are equal to the width of the beams, the structure became very strong.

Avoiding Self Intersection octahedron 3

Testing the component at a small scale required the design of a joint which allowed me to assemble these components together through interlocking elements. Each beam element slots into the joint; When two joints and two beams are connected together the curves naturally stay in place due to the angle cut into the joint. Three of these connected elements together form the component.

Diagraming the Joint

As mentioned previously, avoiding intersections create inefficient structures – For this small scale experimentation, the concept of Tensegrity was implemented. Tensegrity is a structural principle based on using isolated compression components within a net of continuous tension, allowing the compression members to not need to touch each other. This model was constructed using 1.5mm plywood which has been laser cut; the modularity of the system ensures minimal material wastage.

Construction Sequence of ModelModel Photographs

The three dimensional array of this geometry creates many interesting shapes and patterns when viewed from different angles – this is visible in the following video:

 

 

 

 

Thursday 14th May Cross-Crit and Future Cities

Some images of our final cross-crit of the year! Our students presented their Brief03:FutureCities. Have a look at how the next generation of architects envision the future of our cities.

Thank you to Andrei Jipa, Kester Rattenbury and Lindsay Bremner. Final sprint to the portfolio submission and end of year!

Eva Ciocyte - Aral City - As the earth gets too polluted to allow the growth of any edible crop, Aral City attempts to purify the soil progressively by building giant evaporative and inhabitable greenhouses.
Eva Ciocyte – Aral City – As the earth gets too polluted to allow the growth of any edible crop, Aral City attempts to purify the soil progressively by building giant evaporative and inhabitable greenhouses.
Alex Berciu, The Algorithmic City, In the presented scenario, the natural environment in which human beings live today will no longer exist, having been replaced by fully computer generated habitation. As the Earth’s surface will have been largely damaged by pollution and natural disasters, the only  solution for living pushed human society upwards in suspended structures developed through the  technique of extruding concrete and drone assembly. Based on a growth algorithm that evolves with  relation to continuous feedback gathered from climate data, structural qualities and population needs,  the system can perform in any given location. in the generated structure, the algorithm places accordingly a selection of 8 typologies considered  suitable for the needs of the future human society. These are: aliment production/farming, aliment  storage, housing, education hubs, culture hubs, spiritual hubs, places of sin and production  laboratories. Each typology is designed to fit within the modular grid and is placed according to  density and distance rules. The ratio between the 8 typologies is also adaptable, responding to  possible changes in societal needs.
Alex Berciu, The Algorithmic City, In the presented scenario, the natural environment in which human beings live today will no longer exist, having been replaced by fully computer generated habitation. As the Earth’s surface will have been largely damaged by pollution and natural disasters, the only solution for living pushed human society upwards in suspended structures developed through the technique of extruding concrete and drone assembly. Based on a growth algorithm that evolves with relation to continuous feedback gathered from climate data, structural qualities and population needs, the system can perform in any given location. in the generated structure, the algorithm places accordingly a selection of 8 typologies considered suitable for the needs of the future human society. These are: aliment production/farming, aliment storage, housing, education hubs, culture hubs, spiritual hubs, places of sin and production laboratories. Each typology is designed to fit within the modular grid and is placed according to density and distance rules. The ratio between the 8 typologies is also adaptable, responding to possible changes in societal needs.
Marine Pollution has become a growing plaque as plastics are accumulated into patches within the gyres around the world, damaging the marine ecosystem and entering the marine food web. As these plastics are not biodegradable, they continue to pose a threat to the marine wildlife as well as humanity. Centuries into the future, people have begun to seek for ocean colonization in an attempt to tackle marine pollution and the rising sea level. The Fluas is a self-sufficient city that realises the potential of ocean plastics as a source of reusable material. Situated within the North Pacific Gyre and consisting of clusters of floating platforms, the city is centred on the collection and recycling of these materials into elements of the city - in the form of pneumatic structures. As plastics are salvaged from the gyre, the inflated city continues to grow while its inhabitants live a seaborne lifestyle.
Garis Iu – The Inflated City – Marine Pollution has become a growing plaque as plastics are accumulated into patches within the gyres around the world, damaging the marine ecosystem and entering the marine food web. As these plastics are not biodegradable, they continue to pose a threat to the marine wildlife as well as humanity. Centuries into the future, people have begun to seek for ocean colonization in an attempt to tackle marine pollution and the rising sea level. The Fluas is a self-sufficient city that realises the potential of ocean plastics as a source of reusable material. Situated within the North Pacific Gyre and consisting of clusters of floating platforms, the city is centred on the collection and recycling of these materials into elements of the city – in the form of pneumatic structures. As plastics are salvaged from the gyre, the inflated city continues to grow while its inhabitants live a seaborne lifestyle.
Garis Iu The Inflated City
Cidade de Árvores The Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil has long been viewed as a vast quilt of rain forest interspersed by small river outposts. The surging population growth has seen these remote settlements transform this ancient rural vision to an expansive city scale. Cidade de Árvores (City of Trees) envisions an environment where both the city’s infrastructure and its inhabitants maintain a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding natural environment.  Built entirely from locally grown timber, the Cidade de Árvores exists as a network of steam bent beams, joined to form a structural space frame.  Like the forest, the frame is allowed to grow and develop organically over time with inhabitants adding to structure to meet their requirements. The city is powered through the use of micro wind turbine electricity generation which manifests as a series of towers scattered throughout the forest. For the city and the environment to function in harmony, the city access routes manifest as elevated walkways around large courtyards, allowing light to penetrate to the forest floor.
Joe Leach – Cidade de Árvores
The Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil has long been viewed as a vast quilt of rain forest interspersed by small river outposts. The surging population growth has seen these remote settlements transform this ancient rural vision to an expansive city scale. Cidade de Árvores (City of Trees) envisions an environment where both the city’s infrastructure and its inhabitants maintain a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding natural environment. Built entirely from locally grown timber, the Cidade de Árvores exists as a network of steam bent beams, joined to form a structural space frame. Like the forest, the frame is allowed to grow and develop organically over time with inhabitants adding to structure to meet their requirements. The city is powered through the use of micro wind turbine electricity generation which manifests as a series of towers scattered throughout the forest. For the city and the environment to function in harmony, the city access routes manifest as elevated walkways around large courtyards, allowing light to penetrate to the forest floor.
Tobias Power's Infinity Tree for Burning Man development
Tobias Power’s Infinity Tree for Burning Man development
The Infinity Tree - Updated structure with the help of Format Engineers and Ramboll
The Infinity Tree – Updated structure with the help of Format Engineers and Ramboll
This project seeks to develop a response to the combined challenges of natural disasters, the aging population and  over-fishing. All three are closely connected in Japan. In Japan, where life expectancy is one of the highest in the  world, 1 in 3 people will be over 60 by 2050. Unfortunately, Japan is also a country that has been hit by major natural  disasters such as tsunamis, during which the vulnerable elderly suffered the most. Finally, in Japan fish is the main  food source and over fishing may become a major issue in the future. Moreover, Japan has one of the highest  percentages of labour force of people aged 60 and over within the fishing industry. I am proposing a self-sufficient,  resilient city for the super-aging Japanese fishing community along the coast, as a response to these future scenarios.  The structure of the proposal would not only act as a vertical evacuation point, and accommodation for the elderly and  their families, but would also be used as sustainable fish-farming.
The Origami City – Naomi Danos – This project seeks to develop a response to the combined challenges of natural disasters, the aging population and over-fishing. All three are closely connected in Japan. In Japan, where life expectancy is one of the highest in the world, 1 in 3 people will be over 60 by 2050. Unfortunately, Japan is also a country that has been hit by major natural disasters such as tsunamis, during which the vulnerable elderly suffered the most. Finally, in Japan fish is the main food source and over fishing may become a major issue in the future. Moreover, Japan has one of the highest percentages of labour force of people aged 60 and over within the fishing industry. I am proposing a self-sufficient, resilient city for the super-aging Japanese fishing community along the coast, as a response to these future scenarios. The structure of the proposal would not only act as a vertical evacuation point, and accommodation for the elderly and their families, but would also be used as sustainable fish-farming.
Naomi Danos, The Origami City
Naomi Danos, The Origami City
Lorna Jackson presenting her Burning Man proposal and future city for women only.
Lorna Jackson presenting her Burning Man proposal and future city for women only.
Fractal BreakCity will act as defence and breakwater structures against tsunamis and floods.  Benefiting of internalised creation of food, resources and objects, a trade based economy will  emerge, while the cult of product marketing will shrink to its essential.  The city is based on recursive aggregation: one geometry is repeated in a self-similar way to create a  complex looking aggregation, following a fractal pattern. The system consists of one module, with structures of different scales according to their function, so that the bathroom will be the smallest box unit, the bedroom slightly larger and so on. The largest box unit at the center of an aggregated module, will consist of the communal and production based spaces. Cellulose mixed with water, can be 3D printed to create structures stronger than steel and will become structural elements for the city, while aerogel wall components (made of silica, which is found in sand, across the world) will clad each unit’s sides.
Diana Raican – Fractal BreakCity will act as defence and breakwater structures against tsunamis and floods. Benefiting of internalised creation of food, resources and objects, a trade based economy will emerge, while the cult of product marketing will shrink to its essential. The city is based on recursive aggregation: one geometry is repeated in a self-similar way to create a complex looking aggregation, following a fractal pattern. The system consists of one module, with structures of different scales according to their function, so that the bathroom will be the smallest box unit, the bedroom slightly larger and so on. The largest box unit at the center of an aggregated module, will consist of the communal and production based spaces. Cellulose mixed with water, can be 3D printed to create structures stronger than steel and will become structural elements for the city, while aerogel wall components (made of silica, which is found in sand, across the world) will clad each unit’s sides.
Jon Leung's developments on the Bismuth Bivouac for Burning Man
Jon Leung’s developments on the Bismuth Bivouac for Burning Man
Jon Leung's Bismuth Bivouac updated render with latest development with the help of format engineers.
Jon Leung’s Bismuth Bivouac updated render with latest development with the help of format engineers.
John Koning's power generating Ron Resch origami city
John Koning’s power generating Ron Resch origami city
Irina Ghuizan's flying city
Irina Ghuizan’s flying city
Toby Plunket's Silent City in China
Toby Plunket’s Silent City in China

Our Kickstarter campaign is now live

WeWantToLearn.net has a live Kickstarter Campaign. Please help us bring to life three beautiful students projects for this year’s Burning Man festival and receive some exciting rewards such as the T-Shirts shown below with the three digital designs: http://kck.st/1ESCVFb

kickstarter-badge-back-300x300

Kickstarter

Left: Infinity Clothing, Middle: Reflection Clothing, Right: Bismuth Clothing
Left: Infinity Clothing, Middle: Reflection Clothing, Right: Bismuth Clothing

Happy Easter from WeWantToLearn.net :)

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

Infinite Territory

Burnign man render REVISED

 

‘Infinite Territory’ invites burners from the surrounding playa to it’s periphery; its simple mirrored cubic exterior reflects the picturesque landscapes, unpredictable weather and inspirational artworks, creating an experience of both the real and the reflected whilst encouraging unexpected discoveries throughout the journey of the Burning Man Festival. At night, the cube will reflect the vibrancy of the playa. Illuminated strips of colourful light will glow at each edge to allow for clear visibility and frame the vistas; encouraging physical exploration within the structure and providing an immersive experience that juxtaposes the setting of the desert, and in doing so, offers a place for discovery; to recognise our inner selves and the reality of those around us.

The real gem of the ‘Infinite Territory’ is revealed from within – the burner will climb into a boundless space of infinite reflections that will hypnotise and bewilder, whilst creating a place for contemplation and speculation. Illuminated patterns will flicker and grow through key-frames of acrylic. Within this immersive digital dimension will be soft items providing a refuge from the elements. The installation will be made up of mirrored panels at each face of the cube. Three of these faces will consist of panels built with five layers of transparent perspex – each panel consists of a different pattern and when light is moved from one to the other it creates a dynamic lighting animation.

 

FINAL RENDER

 

The primary structure of ‘Infinite Territory’ will be a timber framed cube using three meter length beams. The lateral stability will be reinforced using rigid panels of mirror and acrylic that shall form the artwork for the internal visual of the cube. The frame and the perspex/mirrored panels will be joined together (including any internal lighting effects) with metal brackets to reinforce the structure. This will help the overall mass resist wind loads and the harsh weather conditions of the Nevada Desert. The installation will consist of off-site fabrication of each panel leaving on-site construction reduced to the assembly of it’s component parts.

‘Infinite Territory’ will leave no trace wherever it goes; using a sheet size of 1.5m x 3m, the components of the installation allow for easy construction and deconstruction. Its weight and self-supporting robust construction means that no foundations are needed and the playa is left untouched beneath its surface.

 

 

The lighting will feature a pre-sequenced animation of LED strip lights that will illuminate the patterns giving the effect that is shown in the conceptual visuals. The lighting will be located at two opposite edges of each acrylic panel, and its components will be visually hidden within the structure. Externally, colourful electroluminescent wire at each edge of the cube will allow for clear visibility of the mirrored surface whilst framing the vistas.

 

IMAGE