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Virtual Environments Module 4: Reflection Clare Mackarness 588080 Semester 2, 2013


30mm 17mm

Ideation

110mm

‘Observation is a necessary part of creation’1 - Prior to designing a second skin, we observed systems as precedents. I studied the oriental fan as well as the inflatable kite. 150mm

210mm

100mm

25mm

Drawing the objects in different states encouraged us to consider how artefats change in order to fulfill a function2

1 Heath, A., Heath, D., & Jensen, A. (2000). 300 years of industrial design : function, form, technique, 1700-2000 / Adrian Heath, Ditte Heath, Aage Lund Jensen. New York : Watson-Guptill, 2000. 2 Enric Miralles,Carme Pinos, “How to lay out a croissant” El Croquis 49/50 Enric Miralles, Carme Pinos 1988/1991, En Construccion pp. 240-241


Ideation 150mm

510mm 260mm

The structure is dependant on air To completely inflate, air must pass through separate chambres

‘Observation is a necessary part of creation’1 - Prior to designing a second skin, we observed systems as precedents. I studied the oriental fan as well as the inflatable kite. The kite demonstrated how systems act when subject to inflation. I observed how air entered, was blocked and trapped within a vessel depending on its structure and materials. This was the beginning of our development of an inflatable second skin.

1 Heath, A., Heath, D., & Jensen, A. (2000). 300 years of industrial design : function, form, technique, 1700-2000 / Adrian Heath, Ditte Heath, Aage Lund Jensen. New York : Watson-Guptill, 2000.


Ideation

Tamsin’s regions of sensativity

No matter how simple the artefact, an obekject must fulfill ‘functionality’, just as a piano stool does as described in Sommer’s reading1. We understood the skin needed to fulfill a purpose. We looked at two understanding of functionality for the project : 1. The skin must accomplish what the user needs (personal space protection) 2. The skin must understand what personal space is in order to fulfill the former. We then defined personal space: Personal Space is the physical space immediately surrounding a person, into which encroachment can spark discomfort. To us, this feeling of discomfort is intensified when the invader can be sensed but not seen.

Clare’s regions of sensativity

In order to fulfill such a functionality, we mapped our regions of highest sensitivity.

Sensativity

Extreme High Medium

1 Sommer, R. (1969). Personal space : the behavioral basis of design / Robert Sommer. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, c1969.


Ideation

Design 1

Design 2

Design 3

My three initial design concepts took into consideration the different strcuture that could be employed for the second skin. Design 1. The lilo vest looked at the idea of separate vessels of air connecting to one another Design 2. The ‘Porcupine’ Looked individual, detached tubed of air.

at

Design 3. The ‘Bubble’ looked at one ball of air, shaped by bulbous, bubble-like surface curves. Inspiration form ‘On Space Time Foam1’ and ‘Luminaria2’ We were intersted on how light plays on bubble-like surfaces and how surfaces can draw someone into a spcae

“I felt a calmness and sense of envelopment like nothing i’ve imagined” - Visitor of Installation to Luminaria

1 Luminaria by Architects of Air 2 On Space Time Foarm - Tomas Saraceno


Ideation

Heath et al wrote descriptively about basic artifacts, prompting us to consider the plethora of human functions that require us to have such systems available to us. With reference to items such as the Danish designed office chair, the authors commended the appeals and charms such items can hold1. Our initial designs reflected a desire to produce a skin with such qualities or attraction.

1 Heath, A., Heath, D., & Jensen, A. (2000). 300 years of industrial design : function, form, technique, 1700-2000 / Adrian Heath, Ditte Heath, Aage Lund Jensen. New York : Watson-Guptill, 2000.


Paper Lantern

Design

Metallic Balloon Emergancy Blanket Beach Ball

In his talk, ‘Building the Seed Cathedral’1, Heatherwick spoke about how they explored the devises of light and form, to draw visitors in to the seed cathedral. Our aim was to develop a skin that would achieve just this, by drawing visitors around to the user’s front. In order to discover what possibilities of form and light were available to us, we investigated an array of materials. Paper Lantern: The Lantern has a series of folds which mean some sides consist of more then one sheet of paper. This has an effect on how the light passes through the walls of the structure Metallic Baloon: The metal refelcts light and as the material is pinched, areas of light and dark are created Emergancy Blanket: Similiar effect to metallic baloon, however, the material comes packaged and therefore has many creases which determine how the light reflects on the whole surface.

1 http://www.ted.com/talks/thomas_heatherwick.html


1

Design Heatherwick spoke of how light played a pivotal role in the atmosphere of the Seed Cathedral. When a cloud passed by the structure, one could see it pass by. This exploration of light sparked our interest in paper lanterns. Different thicknesses of paper determined how the light of the fairy lights within, would shine through creating an ambiance. We also liked the way that emergency paper reflected light surrounding it. We covered the lanterns with the emergency paper as it was to frail to hold the lantern structure on its own. However, the emergency paper proved too opaque and did not let light pass through. 1. The darker shade of pink depicts how different thicknesses of paper play with letting light through.


1

4

Design Image 1 depicts the difference when emergency paper covers the paper lantern. Image 2 depicts the way light creates an ambience, drawing the visitor in

2

5

3

6

Images 4-6 depict the inflation (using a straw) of an emergency paper lantern. The inflation with straw was proving to take a long time as there were a number of lanterns that required inflation.


Design

1

After module 2, our design required alterations. We needed to continue using a developable surface (able to be ‘mapped isometrically into a plane’1) for our structure so that it could be fabricated out of the material we had selected – pearlised tissue paper. To avoid having to inflate separate lanterns, we developed our design so that it became a single structure with customised panels to give it appeal. 2

1. Original Lantern Design 2. Ammended trapezoid prisms

Design

-

panelled

with

1 Surfaces that can be built from paper / In H.Pottmann,A.Asperl,M.Hofer, A.Kilian (eds) Architectural Geometry, p534-561, Bentley Institute Press, 2007


1

Design

We had difficulty on 123D Catch as the background interfered with our mesh (see image 1). We were able to access a premodeled one (see image 2), which allowed us to better model our representation.

2

The final design is a curved neck piece which requires inflation by hot air (hair dryer) rather than individually inflated by straws – this would have taken to long. The skin is made from pearlised tissue paper, which reflects light giving the skin a delicate and charming ambiance. The trapezoid prism panels assist with the way the material plays with light. Additionally, the panels decrease in size as they gradually wrap around the front of the user. This aims to draw the visitor in to a region where the user would prefer they be. A short, thick pipe will be attached to the front to allow air to enter the skin.


Fabrication

In order to fabricate the design we were required to manipulate the NURBS surfaces to create a geometric form1 that would allow us to work with a developable surface2. We applied paneling tools to achieve a surface covered in trapezoid prims.

1 Architecture in the Digital Age - Design and Manufacturing /Branko Kolarevic. Spon Press, London, c2003 2 Digital fabrications: architectural and material techniques / Lisa Iwamoto. New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c2009.


Fabrication

By offsetting the points on the surface, we able to make a customized gird. This allowed us to manipulate the size of the prims. The prisms were larger at the back and gradually became smaller as they wrapped around to the user’s front and the inside edge of the skin (see images). We created custom panels by creating a simply trapezoid prims, which we could then apply to our surface.

Offsetting the points allowed us to manipulate the size of the prisms


Fabrication

We assembled 72 nets

In order to fabricate our second skin, we needed to assemble each trapezoid prism individually and glue them to one another. This required us to select each prism and employ the commands ‘Explode’ and ‘Unroll’. Once all of the prisms were unrolled we had 72 nets. Before we could unroll them, we needed to delete any surfaces that formed the base of the prism. If we did not do this, the skin would not inflate as the skin would be made form 72 closed prisms and air would not be able to enter. We then printed the nets and traces them onto the pearlised tissue paper which required ironing to remove any undesirable creases.

Image shows trapezoid before and after base is removed


Fabrication In order to construct the skin out of the prism nets, we needed to make ‘tabs’ so that the individual prisms could join to create the second skin. We then printed the nets and traces them onto the pearlised tissue paper which required ironing to remove any undesirable creases. Once we achieved this, we we began to construct the skin by assembling the individual prisms and connecting them to one another using Bostik glue. Instantly we found this was not enough to seal the skin. We employed sticky tape to seal any holes.


Fabrication

One of the biggest challenges we faced was the construction of the inflatable skin. As the form is over a cylindrical nature, it proved very challenging to connect the geometric prisms to each other. The geometric complexities means that is able to connect perfectly, just as Rhino can manipulate the NURBS and make it digitally possible1, however, in flesh and bone, the skin revealed itself to be of a particularly intricate structure making it very difficult to put together.

1 Digital fabrications: architectural and material techniques / Lisa Iwamoto. New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c2009.


Fabrication

x x x

After our Module 3 presentation we had to make adjustments to our second skin. The skin was not airtight. This meant we had to dissect the structure and undo all of the existing connections. We discovered Japanese rice paper glue, which is of a silicon-like consistency. We employed this on the tabs also used tape to seal any remaining gaps. The most challenging part was trying to seal the corner joins. This took a lot of effort and we were still sealing it moments before out filming. Initially, we inflated our skin with a hair dryer entering a toilet roll, which was carefully disguised in pearlised tissue paper. This element of the design sparked angst amongst the judging panel and we were required to make alterations. We removed the roll and attached plastic piping to the structure however; the airflow was not strong enough. The only way the structure would inflate was by inserting the nose of a hair dryer into a small opening at the front. Thankfully, we had explored many options for inflation. As an emergecny vest inflator was to expensive, we had to use the hair dryer.


Fabrication After assembling out second skin twice, we were able to achieve a level of inflation. It would have been interesting to see how much it could inflate had it been 100% air tight and perhaps manufactured professionally1. We were particularly satisfied with its overall ambiance and allure. We managed to achieve an attractive and mesmeric piece that was once described to us on par with a ‘Gucci dress’.

1 Architecture in the Digital Age - Design and Manufacturing /Branko Kolarevic. Spon Press, London, c2003


Reflection Virtual Environments has offered remarkable insights into today’s opportunities for design. Initially, when we first presented with the brief for a ‘Second Skin’, I could not see how the subject differed from Designing Environments - we were required to design something that had functionality and satisfied the brief as well as the consumer consumer. It wasn’t until I started using Rhino that I could understand the extensive and diverse opportunities that not only enriched a design, but also created a relationship between the human and the technology1. This type of designing was another language formed out of scripts and codes2, which could ultimately generate complex forms which are then able to be fabricated using digital fabrication methods.

1 Building the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture/ Philip Bernstein, Peggy Deamer. Princeton Architectural Press. c2008. pp 38-42 2 Building the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture/ Philip Bernstein, Peggy Deamer. Princeton Architectural Press. c2008. pp 38-42


Reflection

Something that my partner and I would like to have explored more was paneling. We were moving towards the fabrication of our design and quickly needed to create an effective surface, which reflected our design concepts adapted from precedents explored along the way. As we used trapezoid prisms, we had to individually construct each element. Had we had more experience and time, I would have liked to create a panel that would have enabled us to construct the skin out of a single surface. Additionally, as our design was of a cylindrical form, it was going to be a challenge to have all of the individual prisms joins precisely without any risk of gaps. Because the digital design technology is extremely accurate, there was certainly no room for alteration. The skin needed to be constructed just as it would have been represented on Rhino. The program held precise information on how to the artifact needed to be fabricated. This lack of precision in the fabrication process can be defined as ‘workmanship of risk’1. As we were the craftsmen of the skin, there were going to be inevitable mistakes. 1 Building the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture/ Philip Bernstein, Peggy Deamer. Princeton Architectural Press. c2008. pp 38-42


Reflection

The quality of the result is indeed continually at risk if left in the hands of a human. However, had we had the chance to use professional manufacturing processes we would have been able to achieve what the digital design expressed to us1. As we were using frail tissue paper, the Fab-Lab were warned us that the material may be at risk of harm had it been cut by them. Thus, we had to trace the nets onto our material and hand cut using household scissors. There are certainly associated risks with this process, as the desired degree of accuracy cannot be achieved, giving higher risks for fabrication faults and overall design errors. Both the subject and technology has indeed changed my view on design. The opportunity of design is not only made much more available for us but so too has the fabrication. Here we have learnt that design is far more accessible, and the fabrication of these designs is much more possible opening up opportunities for our economies around the planet2. 1 Architecture in the Digital Age - Design and Manufacturing /Branko Kolarevic. Spon Press, London, c2003 2 The third Industrial Revolution / Jeremy Rifkin. Palgrave Macmillan, C2011.pp107-126


Bibliography

Architecture in the Digital Age - Design and Manufacturing /Branko Kolarevic. Spon Press, London, c2003 Building the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture/ Philip Bernstein, Peggy Deamer. Princeton Architectural Press. c2008. pp 38-42

http://www.ted.com/talks/thomas_heatherwick.html Surfaces that can be built from paper / In H.Pottmann,A.Asperl,M.Hofer, A.Kilian (eds) Architectural Geometry, p534-561, Bentley Institute Press, 2007 Luminaria by Architects of Air

Digital fabrications: architectural and material techniques / Lisa Iwamoto. New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c2009. Enric Miralles,Carme Pinos, “How to lay out a croissant� El Croquis 49/50 Enric Miralles, Carme Pinos 1988/1991, En Construccion pp. 240-241 Heath, A., Heath, D., & Jensen, A. (2000). 300 years of industrial design : function, form, technique, 1700-2000 / Adrian Heath, Ditte Heath, Aage Lund Jensen. New York : Watson-Guptill, 2000.

On Space Time Foarm - Tomas Saraceno Sommer, R. (1969). Personal space : the behavioral basis of design / Robert Sommer. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, c1969. The third Industrial Revolution / Jeremy Rifkin. Palgrave Macmillan, C2011.pp107-126


Module 4 virtual