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MODULE 3 fabrication Henry Tran Student No:613985

Virtual Environments

Semester 1

16 May 2013

Original Natural Pattern Balance




Precedents and Analogies

Lighting effects



Returning to Initial Panels Revisiting Recipe 1.Construct a set of similarly-sized circles on a plane 2.Draw a dotted* line** between one circle and each of its adjacent circles 3.Repeat until all circles have been exhausted 4.Trace over dotted lines to create solid polygons surrounding circles * allows room for error ** best results if drawn as symmetry line between two circles

Revisiting Paper Models

Form and Context


Facing a number of difficulties in digitising my clay model, I decided to use the Two-Rail Sweep command, which finally translated into Rhino the form I had desired. Furthermore, this shape, as opposed to my previous extruded geometries, allowed for more effective panelling.

Two Rail Sweep

Tri-basic Panelling

Aware of the curved surfaces throughout this form, I reached the conclusion that perhaps the best panels would be triangular surfaces. From here, I began to experiment with different ways of manipulating these triangular faces. I was especially focused on finding ways of incorporating my original hexagonal pattern.

Offsetting Face Borders

Finalising Form

In keeping with my desire to maintain a coral/aquatic theme, I attempted to create a sense of variation and diversity amongst the panels, in both effects and shape. However, I also wanted to maintain symmetry, partly because I wanted to remain faithful to my analytical drawings, and partly for the sake of ease in construction of my final lantern. Each half of the lantern is exactly symmetrical to the other.

Assembly Drawing


c b


a. upper shell b. spine c. base and joints connecting spine with lower shell d. lower shell

Construction I found unrolling my geometry to be quite simple and straightforward, albeit timeconsuming. I had some trouble deciding which strips to unroll, as some of my panels were on joined surfaces in multiple directions. This forced me to decide upon which strips to unroll carefully and strategically.

Utilising the exploded isometric drawing of my geometry, I decided that it presented the best way of breaking my geometry into manageable individual components that would allow for easy construction.

Though I factored in how I'd like the lantern to interface with my hand/arm and scaled the point of contact accordingly, I unfortunately did not take into consideration the scale of the lantern overall.

Response In his essay “Digital Production,” Branko Kolarevic discusses the ways in which new digital design practices have opened the possibilities of architectural aesthetics and materiality. Kolarevic describes the many processes of change we are undergoing as evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and for this reason I think that the modern generation of designers takes for granted the many advantages that digital technology offers. Because changes are being made gradually over time, we don’t really consider their impact as we experience them in the present. This is something that this subject has opened my eyes to. Prior to this subject, I never really thought about how digital technologies actually inform the way contemporary buildings look. Digital design has drastically informed not only how architects build, but what they value —in terms of aesthetics, materiality, spatiality, and functionality—as well. According to Kolarevic, in recent decades, architects have taken an interest in surface over structure. Thanks to new technologies, architects can focus on the visual and spatial effects they’d like to achieve with their works rather than primarily on structure and function. In fact, with increasingly precise software and digital techniques, the skin of a building can even act as its structure. Speaking of the shift in production paradigm from Fordian to digital, Kolarevic states, “variety…no longer compromises the efficiency and economy of production” (52). This has in turn caused a significant rise in mass-customization, as producing many unique objects has become no more expensive than producing many identical objects. Kolarevic makes it clear that digital technologies has presented designers with new and exciting opportunities for experimentation. In Lisa Iwamoto’s essay, she similarly discusses the dramatically increased formal, spatial and material possibilities brought on by new digital media and emerging technologies. She argues that architecture is not only informed by new modes of representation and construction, but that it also itself informs those modes of representation and construction. The introduction and proliferation of new digital technologies in the past few decades has completely transformed the way designers go about designing and fabricating their works. Iwamoto stresses that the emergence of computer-aided manufacturing has spurred a will to experiment, as can be seen in the numerous works she points out. I think it is really fascinating how nowadays, architects think of techniques in such terms as tessellation and folding. Interestingly, we are utilising similar techniques in the design and fabrication of our paper lanterns. This is so interesting to me because it is expressive of the fact that nowadays, an entire building can be manipulated in the same way that pieces of paper can. I initially questioned the connection between our paper lantern brief and the design work being undertaken in the real world. I’ve come to realise that perhaps the difference between the two is only very minimal.

Virtual Environments Week 9 Journal