Inspired by the geometry from the crystalline growth pattern of the element Bismuth (Bi), the Bismuth Bivouac is a playful pavilion that celebrates the orthogonal geometries that can exist in natural Bismuth crystals to form an intriguing cubic structure, with spiralling disruptions on each face that are governed by the golden ratio. From a distance, the structure appears as a seemingly solid cube, but upon closer inspection, the internal spaces can be explored and utilised.The beautiful iridescent colours of crystal are to be translated into the proposal through coloured LED strip lighting, built into the simple dimensional lumber structure of the pavilion, so at night the Bismuth Bivouac gives has the same visually mesmerizing, colourful effect of the bismuth crystals in nature. The project aims to play with the participants perception of depth and scale in this mirroring structure – from afar, the structure will appear as a dense cube that sits on the playa, but as the participants move towards the structure, they will begin to be able to see through parts of the structure due to the stepped nature of the geometry and holes formed from spiral disruptions. The structure provides sheltered from harsh desert sun, but also provides a plaything for the sun to casts its shadows during the day, and for people to cast their own shadows with their own illuminations at night.
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. 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 (http://www.tsg.ne.jp/TT/index.html) 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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Little summary of our productive day at Westminster with Chris Ingram and Georgia Collard-Watson: We produced a 1:1 physical model of the wood laminate technique recommended by Ramboll (drawing shown in previous post). We will us this technique to form the twisting longitudinal spines on our building.
The openings on the back ribs are now defined parametrically by a sine curve and unroll with the strips for fabrication.We tested couple options and are happy with the one shown below which breaks the direction of the strips.
We just finished our week at Grymsdyke Farm, Buckinghamshire. Ten students spent about two nights each working on their individual projects, building a 1:1 to 1:5 prototype using the available technology: a CNC Milling Machine (with RhinoCam), a laser cutter, a Z-Corp and a RepRap 3Dprinter.
DS10 would like to thank Guan Lee, Ed Grainge and Kate for their precious help and patience on the CNC, Jessie Lee and Keith McDonald for their great advices!
Below are some pictures of the week.
Above: Dhiren Patel’s “Ear Parabola” being assembled
Above: Dan Dodds testing the fiber optic cables of his Sectionned Harmonograph
Above: Emma Whitehead cutting her convection cell models out of plywood
Above: Thanasis Korras’ CNC milled components for his giant fractal building.