Tag Archives: Grasshopper

Geometry can be found on the smallest of scales, as is proven by the beautiful work of the butterfly in creating her eggs. The butterflies’ metamorphosis is a recognised story, but few know about the start of the journey. The egg from which the caterpillar emerges is in itself a magnificently beautiful object. The tiny eggs, barely visible to the naked eye, serve as home for the developing larva as well as their first meal.

White Royal [Pratapa deva relata] HuDie's Microphotography

White Royal [Pratapa deva relata] HuDie’s Microphotography

shapes copy

Clockwise: Hesperidae, Nymphalidae, Satyridae, Pieridae

Each kind of butterfly has its unique egg design, creating a myriad of beautiful variations.

These are some of the typical shapes that each family produce.

But it is the Lycaenidae family that have the most geometrical and intricate eggs.



Other eggs

Lycaenidae eggs from left to right: Acacia Blue [Surendra vivarna amisena], Aberrant Oakblue [Arhopala abseus], Miletus [Miletus biggsii], Malayan [Megisba malaya sikkima]. HuDie’s Microphotography


There are thousands of species of butterfly, each with their unique egg design. 3A truncated icosahedron for a frame, the opposite of a football. Instead of panels pushed out, they are pulled in.


Biomimetics, or biomimicry is an exciting concept that suggests that every field and industry has something to learn from the natural world. The story of evolution is full of problems that have been innovatively solved.


This research will underpin the design of a sculptural installation in which people can interact with live butterflies. With the ever-declining numbers of butterflies worldwide and in the UK, conservation and education are paramount.

The link between butterflies and humans in our ecosystem is one that is vital and should be conserved and celebrated.

I can imagine an ethereal space filled with dappled light where people can come for contemplation and perhaps their own personal metamorphosis.



The inspiration for this research came from the Asian artist Ren Ri, who uses bees in order to generate his sculptural  work. He predefines the space for the bees to work with, and allows for a time period for the honeycombs to take shape.Portfolio__Page_06Portfolio__Page_07Portfolio__Page_08Portfolio__Page_09

There are three types of surface division that manage to fill up all the area with prime geometric space – triangular (S3), square (S4) and hexagonal (S6). Other types of surface division, either leave gaps between the prime elements, which need to be filled by secondary shapes, or are confined to irregular shapes.
Research shows that the most efficient way of dividing a surface is through a minimum number of achievable line intersections, or a maximum number of membranes. In either case, the hexagonal division fits the case. This type of organization is a second degree iteration from the triangular division. It is formed by identifying and connecting the triangular cell centroids.
Such as in the case of soap-bubble theory, these cells expand, tending to fill up all the surface area around them, and finally joining through communicating membranes.
From a structural point of view, the best integration is the triangular one, because of the way each element (beam) reacts to the variation of the adjacent elements.
By converting the elemental intersection in the hexagonal division from a single triple intersection to a triple double intersection, the structure would gain sufficient structural resistance. This can be done through two methods – translation or rotation. Translation implies moving the elements away from the initial state in order to open up a triangular gap at the existing intersection. This method results in uneven shapes. In the case of rotation, the elements are adjusted around each middle point until a sufficient structural component is created. It is through rotation that the shape is maintained to a relative hexagonal aspect, due to the unique transformation method.



Pursuing the opportunity to test the system through a 1:1 scale project, I was offered the chance to design a bar installation for a private event at the Saatchi Gallery. The project has been a success and represents a stage test for the system.Portfolio__Page_36Portfolio__Page_37Portfolio__Page_38Portfolio__Page_39Portfolio__Page_40Portfolio__Page_41Portfolio__Page_42Portfolio__Page_43Portfolio__Page_44Portfolio__Page_45Portfolio__Page_47Portfolio__Page_49Portfolio__Page_46Portfolio__Page_48Portfolio__Page_50Portfolio__Page_51

Moving further, the attempt was to implement dynamic force analysis to the design, through variation of the elemental thickness. The first test was a bridge design. The structure was anchored on 2 sides, and had a span of 5m.  Portfolio__Page_54Portfolio__Page_55

The next testing phase includes domed structures, replicating modular structures and double curved instances.

A quick update from Burning Man’s dusty “Playa” on which three Diploma Studio 10 students have built their academic projects together with a team of 60 volunteers from the University of Westminster and beyond. You can follow our Instagram account for more pictures of the journey and we will post more details and pictures on our return. Thank you so much for your support and hope that the projects will inspire you!

The Bismuth Bivouac Burning Man

The Bismuth Bivouac designed by fourth year student Jon Leung


The Infinity Tree designed by Tobias Power

The Infinity Tree designed by fourth year student Tobias Power



Reflection designed by fifth year graduate Lorna Jackson

Reflection designed by fifth year graduate Lorna Jackson

I have been researching Miura pattern origami as a structural solution for rapidly deployable structures. Miura ori are interesting as structures due to their ability to develop from a flat surface to a 3D form, and become fully rigid, with no degrees of freedom, once constrained at certain points. 141110_Year 2 working folio2 Physical and digital experiments with Miura Ori have taught me that certain topographies can be generated by developing a modified Miura pattern. With the help of Tomohiro Tachi’s excellent research on the subject of curved Miura ori, including his Freeform Origami simulator ( I have learned that Miura ori surfaces that curve in the X and Y axes can be generated by modifying the tessellating components, however these modifications require some flexibility in the material, or looseness of the hinges. 141110_Year 2 working folio6 As a system for a rapidly deployable structure, I am most interested in the potential for the modified Miura ori to work as a structure built with cheap, readily available sheet materials which are generally planar, so I will continue to develop this system as a rigid panel system with loose hinges that can be tightened after the structure is deployed. 141110_Year 2 working folio4 In order to test the crease pattern’s ability to form a curved surface, I have defined a component within the Miura pattern that can tessellate with itself. The radius of this component’s developed surface is measured as it is gradually altered.

With the objective being to develop a system for the construction of a rapidly deployable structure, I have also been interested in understanding the Miura ori’s characteristics as it is developed from flat. Physical and digital tests were performed to determine the system’s willingness to take on a curve as its crease angles decrease from flat sheet to fully developed. I found the tightest radius was achieved rapidly as the sheet was folded, with the radius angle reaching a plateau. This is interesting from the perspective of one with the desire to create a structure that has a predictable surface topography, as well as from a material optimisation standpoint; the target topography can be achieved without the wasteful deep creases of an almost fully developed Miura ori. 141110_Year 2 working folio5 With the learnings of the modified Miura ori tests in mind, a simple loose hinged cylinder is simulated. As the pattern returns on itself and is fastened, the degrees of freedom are removed and the structure is fully rigid. 141110_Year 2 working folio A physical model of the system was constructed with rigidly planar MDF panels and fabric hinges. The hinges were flexible enough to allow the hinge movement necessary in developing this particular modified Miura ori, however some of the panels’ corners peeled away from the fabric backing as the system was developed from flat. A subsequent test will seek to refine this hinge detail, with a view to creating a scalable construction detail that will allow sufficient flexibility during folding, as well as strength once in final position. 141110_Year 2 working folio3

John Konings

First developed in 1979 by Dániel Erdély the Spidron is created by recursively dividing a 2-dimensional hexagon into triangles, forming a pattern that consists of one equilateral followed by one isosceles triangle. The resulting form is of six Spidron legs that, when folded along their edges, deform to create a 3-dimensional Spidron.

Spidron Nest

Spidron System_Parametrics_Lorna Jackson

Initial investigations into the Spidron system using paper resulted in irregular shapes that could not be predicted, and therefore replicated precisely. Progressing onto using rigid materials allowed the system to be broken down into six components, removing unnecessary triangulated fold lines, and developing latch folded Spidron that is precisely the same as that formed parametrically.

Spidron System_Three SPidrons_Lorna Jackson

This relationship between parametric and physical tests of component based Spidrons in both regular and irregular hexagons, as well as various other equal-sided shapes, has enabled the development of large scale models concluding thus far in a 1:2 scale version being built which will continue to be developed as a pavilion for submission to the Burning Man festival.

In parallel there has been an investigation into the system at a smaller scale allowing for the Spidron nest to be made as one component. In order to achieve the 3-dimensional Spidron form lattice hinges, also known as kerf folds, have been employed. Rigorous testing into the best cutting pattern have resulted in a straight line cutting pattern that allows for bending on multiple axis at once.

Developing this smaller scale system for submission to Buro Happold the intention is to create an arrayed system that is a conglomeration of both regular and irregular spidrons with varying depths and apertures that are able to integrate various display models etc. within.

We just finished Brief01:System/Sci-Fi and starting Brief02:Buro/Burn – Here are couple pictures of our last tutorials by Toby Burgess. Students will be uploading their systems on Monday on this blog!

Our Joyful DS10 Studio - Picture by Vlad Ignatescu

Our Joyful DS10 Studio – Picture by Vlad Ignatescu

Spirohedron by Lorna jackson

Spirohedron by Lorna jackson

Spirohedron by Lorna jackson

Spirohedron by Lorna jackson

Spirohedron by Lorna jackson

Spirohedron by Lorna jackson

Spirohedron by Lorna jackson

Spirohedron by Lorna jackson

Pyritohedrons by Sarah Stell

Pyritohedrons by Sarah Stell

Pyritohedrons by Sarah Stell

Pyritohedrons by Sarah Stell

Recursive Explosion by Aslan Adnan

Curved Kerf Folding by Garius Iu

Curved Kerf Folding by Garis Iu

Inversion Principle by Tom Jelley

Inversion Principle by Tom Jelley

Tom Jelley's Inversion Principle explained in a model

Tom Jelley’s Inversion Principle explained in a model

Miura-Ori studies by John KoningsJohn Konings rigid Miura Ori Origami

Recursive Reciprocal Structure by Irina Ghiuzan

Recursive Reciprocal Structure by Irina Ghiuzan

Tobias Power plotting complex numbers onb a vertical axis - Rheotomic Surface inspired by Daniel Piiker

Tobias Power plotting complex numbers onb a vertical axis – Rheotomic Surface inspired by Daniel Piiker

Jonathan Leung creating his own Bismuth Crystals

Jonathan Leung creating his own Bismuth Crystals

Esha Hashim's Fabric Tensegrity

Esha Hashim’s Fabric Tensegrity

Lianne Clarke's Reaction Diffusion Patterns on Acrylic

Lianne Clarke’s Reaction Diffusion Patterns on Acrylic


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