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

Gender Difference

As part of international woman’s day I’m exploring differences between males and females in relation to the built environment in order to inform my final project. It only takes two minutes to complete and will directly influence the design progression.

https://sites.google.com/site/genderpreference/

Some examples of questions found in the survey can be found below:

tetrachromacy

material preferencetimber shapes proximity

Many Thanks

Image : Jan Gehl, How to Study Public Life, http://www.blogadilla.com/2008/06/08/are-you-a-tetrachromat/

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

 

 

 

 

Final Crit – Thursday 16th May

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

Prototyping Architecture Conference at the Building Centre

Very inspiring conference today at the Building Centre.
The conference runs for 3 days (21st until 23rd of February). It brings together the work of architects, engineers, manufacturers, product designers, academics and artists to explore the importance of prototypes in the delivery of high quality contemporary design. Placing a particular emphasis on research and experimentation. Prototyping Architecture forms a bridge between architecture, engineering and art, with exhibits that are inventive, purposeful and beautiful.

Some highlights of today’s talks:

Sean Ahlquist‘s research MATERIAL EQUILIBRIA, which consists in the delicate and simultaneous relationship of articulated material behavior and differentiated structural form. This specific study investigates the variegation of knitted textiles, a jacquard weave of shifting densities, as it influences the structuring of a tensile spatial surface

– Manuel Kretzer’s Open Matter(s) network at   http://materiability.com/

sm014

– The beautiful Shi Ling Bridge by Mike Tonkin, Tonkin Liu and Ed Clark http://www.arup.com/News/Events_and_exhibitions/Previous/ShiLingBridge.aspx

shilingbridge_900x600_1_miketonkinarup

– Maquette’s, models and full-scale sample productions in the exhibition

WikiVault

A computer render of the WikiVault system at night
A computer render of the WikiVault system at night
WikiVault is my proposal in response to Brief 02_Template (the details of which can be found under brief). It utilises a reciprocal frame structure created from flat sheet material that can be assembled rapidly on site with only the aid of a jig for lifting. The system is a very efficient use of material particularly owing to the fact that no formwork is necessary in the assembly of the vaulting structure. In addition, the use of a flat sheet material means that it can be easily and accurately pre-fabricated offsite using either CNC machines or laser cutters depending on the scale required. This has the added benefit of easy transportation to the site.
System development summary diagram
System development summary diagram
The structural logic for the system evolved from the mandala reciprocal roof structure and Joseph Abeille’s vault, a solid ashlar floor construction from the seventeenth century.
Software Variations
Software Variations
The value of an open source construction set is that it is easy to use and adapt by anyone. With this in mind I developed a software plug-in for Grasshopper and Rhino that simplifies the system into easily changeable parameters. A series of sliders and any input surface determine the final form of the vault system. I hope to make this plug in available for Grasshopper users as an open-source software once further testing and bug fixes have been resolved.
Physical Model
Physical Model
As part of the continuing development of the WikiVault system I have started to develop a component based library including floors, stairs and modular wall elements to increase the versatility of the system. One obvious flaw is the shelter from the weather of the interior space. In order to address this I have also begun to develop two composite systems utilising a tensile membrane in the first instance and heavy earth construction in the second.
Full details of the initial research and subsequent development of my proposal can be found in the two research documents at the bottom of the page however the gallery below shows some of the key features and images of the system.
The video below shows a timelapse of the physical model assembly without the aid of formwork showing how the vault self-supports as it grows in size.

Brief 01:Test_Research and Development Document

Brief 02:Template_Research and Development Document

The Digital Sublime: Myth, Power, and Cyberspace

In relation to our Brief 3, I recently found this book written by Vincent Mosco, The Digital Sublime: Myth, Power, and Cyberspace.
In the book, Vincent Mosco goes beyond the usual stories of technological break through and economic meltdown to explore the myths constructed around the new digital technology and why we feel compelled to believe in them. He tells us that what kept enthusiastic investors in the dotcom era bidding up stocks even after the crash had begun was not willful ignorance of the laws of economics but belief in the myth that cyberspace was opening up a new world.Myths are not just falsehoods that can be disproved, Mosco points out, but stories that lift us out of the banality of everyday life into the possibility of the sublime. He argues that if we take what we know about cyberspace and situate it within what we know about culture — specifically the central post-Cold War myths of the end of history, geography, and politics — we will add to our knowledge about the digital world; we need to see it “with both eyes” — that is, to understand it both culturally and materially. After examining the myths of cyberspace and going back in history to look at the similar mythic pronouncements prompted by past technological advances — the telephone, the radio, and television, among others — Mosco takes us to Ground Zero. In the final chapter he considers the twin towers of the World Trade Center — our icons of communication, information, and trade — and their part in the politics, economics, and myths of cyberspace.

images

You can find a short book review here: http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/ahrc/script-ed/vol2-2/sublime_review.pdf