Craft And Concept In Architecture
The Beauty and Poetry of Methods And Materials in Support of an Idea 12.15.2010
Table of Contents Desiging the Object
Documented Process Experimentation
Components of chair
Desiging the Construct
Designing the Object
Concept- Through the experimentation process of weaving wood and metal, I am defining a chair form through the elegance of a curvilinear line bending upon itself that is controlled through linear geometries. Process - I worked with several materials to attempt to weave metal and wood to create a fabric that would take the form of a chair. I then found kerf joints, which is one process of curving wood. I studied how I could make this joint structural after the kerfs were cut and still allow for the wood to bend. This worked to an extent, but did not bind the materials horizontally. Using slats in the kerfs binds wood horizontally and also takes loads in compression. Through more studies, I have simplified the Kerf joint to blocks and slats without the veneer on top. The use of three specific radii (1deg. ,3deg. and 5 deg.) creates the form and in elevation the slats bind the chair together horizontally. The slats transfer the load of the person to the blocks to take the load to the floor.
Materials and Construction - Using the idea of a Kerfs joint I will be able to construct a curvilinear chair form bending upon itself. This will be achieved in section with trapezoidal and rectilinear forms. The chair can be constructed in a straightforward fashion by constructing each slat with the blocks space evenly apart. The trapezoids are created from 1â€?x2â€? pine wood with three radii to control the curvature of the chair. The connection will made with wood glue adhesive with its strength and ability to hold in shear and tension. In order to accommodate the moment of a person sitting in the chair, the blocks and slats become thicker to create more moment strength at specific joints. Also, screws are concealed within the wood at the most extreme moments and tensions to aid in the strength of the adhesive.
I began my process by experimenting with wood and metal. The thought of merging these two rigid and structural components was very intriguing. I managed to weave a few models to find a balance between the materials. The studies I looked at showed this combination was not going to make a satisfactory chair. From here, I studied how kerfs were used to bend wood and keep it strong in compression. Glue and resin seemed to fail in providing the tension needed in this connection so I pushed experimentation further with a study of how the kerfs are comprised.
Block & Slat Ideas When the kerfs and slats are decomposed, it becomes essentially blocks and slats glued together with a veneer to add strength. This lead me to the idea of creating radii for different points in the chair to cut out block to fit those conditions.
I experimented with a 3/4â€? thick piece of pine and wrapping it with a 1/16â€? veneer on both sides. The prototype failed in moment leading to the deeper sections to accommodate that moment.
# of blocks cut 1 0
# of slats cut 24”
Here is shown all the 516 piece of Pine wood blocks setting on my desk after being cut out with a miter saw. On the right is the 86 pieces of slats that were ripped on the table saw. Everything seen was made out of eight 1”x4”x8’ pieces of Pine lumber. All sizes were sorted and accounted for to make production of the chair easier.
Clips of Production
The process of production starts at one end of the chair and ending at the other. Each section was glued on and clamped for the glue to set while the next section was being prepared. Only in the sections of the chair with the most moment have screws concealed within the wood. This reinforces the wood/glue in tension and moment begin placed upon it.
Below is a rhino model of the final version of the chair. On the right is the prototype created from my drawings. The elegance of the line shows through with some slight variations to the shape of the chair due to production changes.
Quantity Unit Cost
Select Pine Lowe’s
Select Pine Home Depot
Wood Glue 1 Pint
Production Hours Logged Stage
Designing the Construct Tensile Infrastructure
Concept- Through using a tensile infrastructure within the block and slat system, an elegant mechanical architecture is created. The idea os this symantec and syntatic transformation was to create a system making process of producing the chair prototype easier to manufacture. This system allows for a track and rollers to be placed below the structure enabling people to roll out the pavilion into a bridge making this a functional piece. Process - This process included creating several study models and having many successful disasters enable me to progress this design as well as the chair to their current states. The entire process came through the idea of weaving metal and wood together and from there I looked to kerf bendng. Then I broke down the kerf joint and looked at in in detail with the block and slat. Through this process I found similer methods of construction to create a bend in wood without cutting the wood in a curvilinear shape.
Materials and Construction -Using the same idea of the chair prototype, I constructed the same type of block and slats as before;however, with this new idea of a functional bridge/pavilion, I had to cut more slats and drill holes into the blocks to accomodate the new T-section system. This enabled construction to be faster stringing the cable through the blocks and slats. Once this is completed, the bridge will be connected to a ram pulling the tension i nthe two cable system tight while attachign the cables to the ground. Through this two cable system people will be able ot push out the pavilion to have a cantilevered bridge over a river or gorge. The sections with the most action (ie. cambered blocks) are deeper than the rest of the system pieces to work with the moment in the tension system.
Process of New System
The new system looked at removing the glue joints and creating a tension system that needed a solution to how the blocks would be strung together making them stable. This enabled me to experiment with pulleys, gears, and hinges for users to roll up a pavilion/bridge with this orthogonal block and slat sytem.
Retracting Section Analysis
Construct Process and Ideas Looking at the details of the new idea of this tensile infrastructure enables for a large amount of interaction with the people using the pavilion and bridge.
# of blocks cut 0 1”
# of slats cut 24”
Construction of Prototype Constructing the prototype for this pavilion/bridge was much easier than the chair prototype. With some gluing of the system of block T-sections, The blocks remains rigid as I strung the cable through and tension cables by turnbuckles allowingthe new system to operate correctly. The construction time needed with this construction was almost a quarter of the time of constructing the chair prototype.
The final details of the prototype worked as designed. Below showing the two cable system coming out of the pavilion/bridge system. Having this detail allows fdor people to push and pull the construct making this functional piece either a pavilion or a cantilevered bridge.
Material Cost Material
Select Pine Lowe’s
Heavy Duty Lowes
Turnbuckles 1/2” Glides
Quantity Unit Cost Cost
Production Hours Logged Stage Units Hours /Unit Minutes/Unit Woodshop Cutting Slats 84 0.024 1.4
Total Hours 2
Woodshop Cutting Blocks
Woodshop Drilling Blocks
Stringing Blocks Together
Attaching Tension Device
Afterword- The process of finding how to create curvilinear wood joint with orthogonally cut pieces was a success. Through the process of trial and error along with design, I arrived to well informed conclusions about how to design and construct this system. I was able to make the construction time of a similarly sized prototype as the chair in nearly a quarter of the time after I removed the glue joints and create and T-section system with the blocks. After completing the process of designing the new construct through the chair prototype idea, I found my design had some hiccups and simple problems that will need to be corrected. The entire pavilion shape worked well except when the people would roll up the bridge, the pieces active in bending the bridge up were too few. To correct this problem, The entire cantilevered piece will have to be activated in order for a human to accomodate the moment with the cantilevered bridge. Doing this will make the pavilion become a half circle shape in section and rol out as a single flat line when working at a cantilevered bridge.
Another hiccups along the way was drilling the holes for this construct. I learned that even with the accuracy of a jig and drill press there is still some inaccuracy at the model scale. Being off just a sisteenth of an inch either way creates friction in the cable that makes the pulling and pushing motion of the bridge more difficult. At full scale this would not be a problem because minute inaccuracies would not be noticed as much as the model.
Acknowledgements Loweâ€™s 1904 North Prospect Avenue Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 373-7300 Wood/Screws
Meijer 2401 N. Prospect Avenue Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 353-4000 Resin
Home Depot 820 Bloomington Rd. Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 356-2629 Wood/Glue
Prof. Jeff Poss Encouragement and facilitating my process
Family Helping cut out wood pieces
Tim Copeland Power Tools
Pictures I wish I took: Experiments before I broke them Me Cutting out block pieces on the Miter Saw Me Ripping slats on the Table Saw