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Gianni Mancuso 637 278 Semester 1/2013 Virtual Environments ENVS10008

Module 1: Ideation

Module 1: Ideation Pattern And Analytical Drawings


The natural pattern that marked the beginning of the ideation process was the spiral from the nautilus shell. My analytical drawings to the right depict the concepts of movement, symmetry and balance.

Natural Pattern



Module 1: Ideation Recipe For My Pattern 1. Place a point 2. Begin drawing a line in a circular shape that logarithmically increases in distance from the point. 3. Draw semi-circles/triangles at regularly decreasing intervals that also decrease in scale to represent the logarithmic nature

Module 1: Ideation Emerging Form After Choosing to use the movement analytical drawing I experimented with shapes in creating an emerging form. The semi-circle proved to be a difficult shape so I used a triangle when moving forward, but still applying the same principles I followed when using the semi circle. However the Rhino Image on the far right gave me ideas concerning lighting and how I would panel my lantern. I decided from this that I wanted a series of spiralling openings on the surface of the opening that captured light and dispersed a little light on the flat panel above it. I worked with rotating extruded semi-circles along the spiral line but realised this idea had limited potential. I also realised that a strict spiral shape was also very limiting.

Module 1: Ideation Development Of Overall Form + Adding To The Recipe My goal in developing an overall form was to retain a spiral shape but manipulate it to a degree to allow it to interact with the human anatomy. I achieved this by adding different stages to my recipe. These stages included manipulation similar to control points from the front view and the top view of the spiral. The first step involves pulling the spiral upwards making it a 3D object. In addition steps 3 and 4 involve transforming and manipulating the spiral from different planes. I manipulated it to ensure it could interact with the human anatomy. This overall form experimentation helped me abandon such a logical and mathematical pattern.




Module 1: Ideation The overall form of my lantern was largely influenced by the spiral concept from my nautilus shell. I wanted the pattern to dictate how the lantern was shaped and how I would hold it. As seen in these images, the lantern was to spiral around my neck and subsequently around my arm. I thought that this was a unique method of interaction. This spiral form provided me with various challenges such as integrating the lighting and even the amount of lighting to put into the lantern.

Module 1: Ideation Lighting Effects The lighting effect I want to achieve is for every section to retain most of its light and disperse a little bit onto the smaller section above. I think that I can do this by extruding the base semi-circle/triangle shape using the tapered option.

The Campus Event Space in Stuttgart inspired me to try and implement similar effects through extrusion of shapes to capture light.

In Hindsight: Intended Lighting Effect

Module 1: Ideation Reflection Reflection The ideation module allowed me to explore various theories and ideas that could contribute to an actual outcome that could be used for the next design phase. Firstly the analytical drawings aided my design process by allowing me to understand the true complexity behind the intial pattern I chose. I drew a rational conclusion from these drawings, specifically the movement drawing which I want to use in combination with a spiral overall form. The experimentation with paper modelling helped me to realise that maybe a semi-circular shape wasn’t the most appropriate shape to portray movement. I therefore decided in my design phase to use a triangle base shape. The different types of lighting shown to us in our lectures were interesting and I chose to use extrusions to try and contain the light as well as disperse a small amount. The ideation phase was succesful in my opinion as it allowed me to draw from various theories and precedents such as the Spiral Cafe in Birmingham to produce workable ideas that could be further developed in the design stage.

Module 2: Design

Module 2: Design Digitisation The digitised models of my overall form are shown. Evidently they weren’t as smooth and continuous as I would have liked. I had to work using different Rhino commands such as Pipe to create a suitable overall form. Once again, I wanted to create a more elegant spiral form that could interact with the human body by spiralling around the neck, arms and forearm.

Module 2: Design Digitisation Outcomes

Module 2: Design Prototyping

I made three prototypes, and of the three the one I chose to develop was #2. I thought that the simple 3d panels didnt interupt the elegance of the overall form as in my other prototypes. The panels consisted of a triangular shape extruded to a point that was to the right of the panel. This allowed the panels to depict movement. However it was not a fully developed idea and still lacked the ability to depict a true sense of movement to those who observed it.

Module 2: Design Prototype Model #2 Prototype Model 2 wasn’t very structuraly sound, but it did however produce the effects I intended. I wanted each opening on each of the modules to capture the light that was shone through. As you can see in the bottom right corner image I was succesful in doing that. The point at which the four corners of the panels came together was unstable and kept breaking, so I had to glue them another way. However the failure of this model has allowed me to look into other ways of designing a new module with the same concept.

Module 2: Design Design Progression

During this phase I attempted to make these panels more structurally stable. I decided that one way to do this was to enlarge the panels. I also wanted to make them more pronounced and make the tapered to a point feature represent a spiralling notion. I used variable panelling with attractor points aound the mid section of the lantern to make it bulge at that point. This allowed the panels to create the spiral concept that I had attempted to create.



The location of the attractor points dictated the area of the model which would bulge the most significant amount.

Module 2: Design Final Panel And Lantern Design

Right: Final Panelled Lantern Top: Isometric Views Of My Chosen Panel

Module 2: Design Reflection Module 2 was in my opinion far more interesting, and at the same time challenging than module 1. It challenged me to think about the practicality of my designs, and how to design something that is logical and could be constructed with the given material. I think that choosing an overall form that interacts with the body in such a different manner has presented more challenges in designing panels but at the same time more opportunities to create interesting spacial effects. Prior to this module I had trouble creating an emerging form, but I worked to create something that could be used in this module to aid in the design of my custom panels. I chose to base my panels around different forms of extruded triangles that could represent movement in the nautilus shell, much the same as a semi-circle did. Therefore on each of the panels I designed there is a main triangle, which in fact is representative of the spiral movement.

Module 3: Fabrication

Module 3: Fabrication Partial Prototyping


9 8 7 6

When making my prototype I tried to section my lamp into 14 components. This allowed me to systematically build my lantern, an also think ahead as to how I will install the lighting/wiring. The images above show the prootype of sections 10-6 from an aerial view.

Module 3: Fabrication Partial Prototyping I learnt a variety of things about optimising my lantern for fabrication and materials. Firstly, the sectioning of my model helped me to a large extent in systematically making my lantern. It enabled me to create each group of panels, and then the cell, and finally glue the cells together in the appropriate order. In terms of materials I think I learnt the most. I discovered that while white card is structurally stable, it doesnt allow me to create the appropriate lighting effects. In addition the double card tabs interfere with the overall aesthetic appeal of the lantern. In order to avoid this for my final lantern I decided to experiment with black card. The LED light doesnt shine through the lantern, and the light is therefore better captured by the triangular openings. To further this effect of captured light, I will experiment with gluing tracing paper over the holes to capture light better.

Module 3: Fabrication Partial Prototyping: Outcomes

The next prototype I constructed was of the top of the lantern. I used black card to avoid the transparency and the tabs being visible. It was succesful. In addition it was structurally sound and the desired lighting effect was retained. Therefore I progressed to making a full scale lantern out of the 200gsm black card due to my findings.

The first partial prototype I made was of the mid section, including 5 different ‘cells’. I found that the white card was too transparent and the tabs detracted from the aesthetic of the design. However the model was structurally stable.

Module 3: Fabrication Nested Model

In order to unroll my lantern correctly I had to triangulate all the faces, and then trim the triangular opening out. The tabs where created using grasshopper but were also altered using control points to ensure there was flexibility in tab size and that there were no overlaps.

Module 3: Fabrication Assembly Drawing

My Lantern is assembled in a simple manner. From the top, each section is glued to the next. This makes for a very logical fabrication. In addition lighting is integrated as the model is built section by section.

Small tabs on the top of each section are glued to the next panel. It is important that each panel is glued to the corresponding panel on the section below/above. This will ensure the proper spiral shape.

Module 3: Fabrication Assembly Drawing: Sections

Each section however is manufactured differently with the same principles. The section is divided into three sub sections with groups of panels. In addition the rib is integrated into the section to allow for lighting.

Sub-section 3: A group of three panels The Ribs: The LED light strips are glued onto the ribs. They serve as bracing but also as a functional base for the lights. The wiring also attaches to the ribs and runs down them to each different light.

Sub-section 1: A group of two panels

Sub-section 2: A group of three panels

The Rib System

Module 3: Fabrication Lighting: Integration & Installation Materials Used: 12 Volt Battery On/Off Switch Soldering Iron Flexible & Adhesive LED Strip Lights Electrical Tape Black Wire (Not Pictured) White Cable Wire Solder Wire Cutters

Module 3: Fabrication Fabrication Process There were four stages of the fabrication process. Firstly, cutting the card. Secondly folding and gluing the pieces into sections. Thirdly, integrating a working LED circuit, and lastly gluing all the sections together to produce a working lantern.

Module 3: Fabrication Fabrication Process

The Finished Model

Module 3: Fabrication Final Model

Module 3: Fabrication Final Model: Interaction With The Body The lantern rests around my neck and spirals around my shoulder and arm. I think that the lighting effects acheived are what I intended and more. The spatial effect of the lantern was not something I had planned for when designing my lanterns panels, but was a pleasant surprise.

Module 3: Fabrication Reflection

Module 3 presented a variety of challenges. It was probably the most succesful module in terms of physical outcomes. I explored several desgin options through initial prototyping and then chose a suitable desgin that most reflected work done during the ideation and design phase. I then made partial prototypes to test structural integrity and experiment with lighting integration. Overall this was the most interesting of all three modules because as a designer you could see your design become a physical reality - something tangible when before it was simply geometry in a CAD program.

Module 4: Reflection

Module 4: Reflection The design process for this project has been an interesting and at times steep learning curve. The process of ideation was at first a very challenging concept, and perhaps from my point of view it could have been improved through more forward thinking as to how I would have taken those ideas and integrated them directly into my design. The ideation process was difficult as it presented a different way of thinking - one which is more abstract than logical in some respects. In reference to the reading Building the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture by Bernstein & Deamer I think that I had total control over the ideation process, but allowed the program Rhino to take some control during the design phase. However it didn’t dictate my design and the limitations of it.

In addition I think that the design and fabrication phases really benefited from the use of CNC such as the card cutter, which allowed me, the designer to physically construct my own model. It meant that I could take design risk to a larger degree. However I did opt for performance; aesthetics and structural integrity of my lantern were paramount during the design and fabrication phase. I think that the design risk I took with a spiral paper lantern could have been difficult but due to the optimisation of design and eventually fabrication I was able to fulfill my goals and allow the risk to pay off. The use of CNC and CAD was specifically useful during the prototyping stage. Collectively they allowed me to ensure that my design risk was more of a calculated risk. They allowed me to test performance; structurally and aesthetically.

Module 4: Reflection The last phase of fabrication was probably the most interesting. It allowed me to physically experiment with my own design through prototyping and the final latern construction. I think that this stage was fairly logical and my design, construction techniques and lighting integration reflect that. As mentioned previously the use of CNC combined with CAD was incredibly useful during this stage. It reflects the changes in the architectural world - in which designers can now more easily physically create and prototype their designs and come up with a final product that exemplifies performance; aesthetically and structurally, emotionally, and financially (Bernstein Deamer, 2008). In conclusion this project has been a success albeit one achieved through overcoming steep learning curves in terms of ideation, design process and the technique of transferring a design into a working, physical reality.

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

Module 4 reflection final (637 278)