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VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS ENVS10008_2013_SM2 Jonathon Koop (242915) Group 7


MEASURED DRAWING SET Plan, Section, Elevation / Floaties Before I started to measure the floaties I decided to cut along one of the welds connecting the inflatable pockets to the end band. This enabled me to lay the entire structure flat, essentially changing it to a two-dimensional object. This made it much easier to measure. To measure the floaties I simply used a ruler. For the circular objects of the nozzle I measure across the centre and divided by 2 to find the radius. These elements were drawn with a compass. Measurements were not consistent between different floaties, so this made it difficult to create definitive measurements. Also inflation caused irregular deformations in the structure so the measurements on Section II are approximate.





ANALYTICAL SKETCHES OF MATERIAL LOGIC Essentially the floatie is a 2D object that becomes 3D with air. Air creates volume and space by expanding the gap between the surface layers. The volume is constrained by the dimensions of the surface and the amount of air pressure.









DEVELOPMENTAL SKETCH MODEL MAQUETTE For my prototype I decided to make something with a hole through it as I am interested in the idea of an object that can enclose the user. I realised that this meant I would not be able to reverse my inflatable to hide the tape seams. For the maquette I cut a rectangle with rounded corners. By making the making the maquette I discovered rounded corners were hard to create tape seams for, and that the tape I used for the prototype would need to be very adhesive.

DEVELOPMENTAL SKETCH MODEL PROTOTYPE Here is the prototype in deflated form. As I suspected the tape seams were much easier to create when the edges were straight and perpendicular to one another. When two edges meet I sealed the holes by cutting small strips of tape and placing them on 45 degree angles. These worked well and I feel they do not detract from the design. As my tape seams would be visible I made a concious effort to make them as clean as possible. I also chose to use tape that was the same colour as the plastic to make them less obvious.


DEVELOPMENTAL SKETCH MODEL PROTOTYPE As you can see below the shape of my design affected how it inflated. The outer corners have extra layers of tape and not surprisingly this restricted inflation there. However I did not expect the top and bottom tubes would buckle in the middle. My guess is that it has to do with the air pressure caused by the hairdryer, so that it buckles in the middle behind the inflation tube because that is where the air pressure is at its highest, and it buckles in the middle at the top because the air pressure is at its lowest. It is also possible that when one side buckles it causes the opposite tube to buckle as well.



DOPPELGANGER A life-size replica of the user. Instead of putting your belongings on the bench you can inflate your second skin.

DEPRIVATION SUIT The suit is design to block out certain senses such as sight, hearing or touch, forcing you to interact with people in different ways. You may need to let someone in to your personal space to get things done.

PUFFER FISH For those who prefer non-verbal communication, the Puffer Fish will let others know they have invaded your personal space. The surface could also be mirrored so invaders see a distorted image of themselves.


DESIGN PROPOSAL - PROTOTYPE 1 For my design I decided to focus on the idea of the doppelganger. In formulating my design I was concious not to create a replica of the human model, and instead looked at ways to define the nearby space. My initial models were experiments to see how I could incorporate the panel and fold system with inflatables. None of these proved satisfactory as I could not seem to find a synthesis between both systems and their relation to the body and personal space. Ideally I would like to create a structure that has a defined form even when deflated. With this model I was trying to visualise how a foldable surface could be used to connect two inflatable supports but it wasn’t what I was hoping to achieve.

DESIGN PROPOSAL - PROTOTYPE 2 This very basic prototype was inspired by a lantern and how the folds allow the structure to collapse down to a flat object. I was thinking of ways in which air pressure could be used to open the folds of the structure, however I wasn’t sure how to relate this to the concept.

DESIGN PROPOSAL - PROTOTYPE 3 With this prototype I wanted to visualise how folds could create channels that would control and direct the air flow through the inflatable and help define its shape.

DESIGN PROPOSAL - FINAL PROTOTYPE The design below focusses on the idea of making personal space something tangible. I decided to project it outwards from the body so that it occupies the area around the user. In this way it also represents the projected anxieties of the user and their fear that their space will be invaded. Again, like the lantern structure, this would use the air pressure to open the folds, however this would operate more like a handheld fan. Obviously stability would be an issue with this design. Even though I haven’t incorporated the channels from the previous prototype in this model I think they could easily be incorporated.


DESIGN PROPOSAL - FINAL PROTOTYPE I also created several panellised versions of the individual pipes however I was unable to create a panelised version of the multipart structure. This is something I would like to explore further as panelling could potentially have a big effect on the inflated form.





PERSONAL SPACE DEFINED Inspired by Sommer’s own experiments on personal space, in particular invading personal space by sitting very close to someone, our definition of personal space is very specific to its context. In this situation the person is hyper aware of the empty bench space and the potential for invasion, so much so that their feeling of personal space contracts around the body but extends out into the empty bench space.

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Christina and I decided to combine our two designs together as we felt they complemented each other. While my idea for the doppelganger or alter ego was mostly conceptual and Christina’s ideas of wearable items had better defined forms, we were both interested in the psychological aspects of personal space and how feelings of anxiety or tension could be expressed non-verbally. As such we decided to focus on a scarf-like item that would inflate sideways to protect and inhabit the empty bench space.


Ron Resch’s work in origami tesellation reveals several interesting and useful curved structures, experimenting with the creation of self-supporting structural units for use in creating immense dome structures. These tessellations are not highly transformable, however they are key precedents for their complexity and aesthetic beauty, as well as providing a possible texture for rigid part of our final work, such as those which incase the inflation system or assist the object to sit firmly on the body.


Koryo Miura, an astrophysicist, was responsible for the creation of the ‘miura fold’, which demonstrates an important example in the field of rigid origami. Rigid origami is the study of folding elements which use flat rigid sheets joined by hinges. The Miura fold has been used to pack solar panels in preparation for space missions, and this aspect of origami study has been responsible for solving everyday issues, such as folding airbags into steering wheels. The Miura allows possibilities for a high ratio of folded to unfolded space, as the fold occurs in two directions. In other words, the Miura allows a paper surface to be packed into a very compact or minimal space, and by pulling two opposite corners, will easily unfold and transform. Likewise, it can be replaced into its folded form by simply pushing two corners towards each other. This precedent is essential to our work, and while many variation exist of the miura fold, our ability to manipulate this original tessellation will give our project a great deal of transformability and flexibility, which we require for the integration of an inflation system. A fold which occurs in only one direction will restrict the potential for inflation in our final work.


INFLATION SYSTEM AS METAPHOR Our inflation system will demonstrate a strong contrast with our fitted penal and fold cape system. We are exploring the dichotomy between the ordered and structured exterior skin, and the chaotic, bulging anxieties felt within the individual, represented by the internal inflation system. Thus the object itself contains several skins representing and responding to both the physical concerns of personal space violation (i.e. the desire for separate space) and the emotional response to violation (i.e. anxiety).

PHYSICAL SIGNS OF ANXIETY • Increased heart beat/palpitations • Sweating • Breathlessness • Muscle tension • Fear Anxiety occurs when personal space is violated. Discomfort from the invasion can quickly turn to anxiety depending on the proximity and extent of the violation, as well as the context of the occurence. The inflation system in our project will come to represent the fear associated with anxiety, by morphing the exterior form.

PHYSICAL MODELS - ORIGAMI FOLDS In our discussions Christina and I decided to investigate the Miura fold as it appeared to have great potential to combine our two systems, panel and fold with inflatables. I decided to make some Miura folds to understand how they worked and to see how it could fit our system. I found a pattern for a curved Miura fold and discovered that by changing the angle of certain folds it would cause the paper to curve. The third picture is of a Yoshimura fold. I like how this fold can form an arch and can also form a cylinder if the edges are joined together, however it does not offer the same possibilities as the Miura fold in creating quite varied intricate surfaces.

PHYSICAL MODELS - FOLDS AND INFLATION I also wanted to create a simple model to see how inflation could be combined with folded panels. The folds I used were quite rudimentary, and perhaps because of this the inflated form had an ill-defined shape. Interestingly the tape around the edge appeared to restrict inflation. This could be useful later on as a way to gain some control on how our second skin inflates.


BASIC PROTOTYPE The preliminary prototype created is very simplistic, but designed to test whether inflation of a system within the panel and fold exterior will be strong enough to push the folds open. In this case, plastic is placed within two pieces of miura-folded paper. The results of this test have shown that the direction of the folding must be altered if we are to create an entirely closed top layer - in this prototype, the end had to remain open, exposing the inside. We have to work out a way to create a closing geometry made of folds. Also, our original idea to create a slit or panel to encourage the inflation out of the folding system may in fact not work, as the inflation is more likely to push open at the weak connecting points, as was the case in this test. Therefore a closed geometry may solve both problems In our next test, we must try several types of openings and a proper inflation system.

THOMAS HEATHERWICK - BUILDING THE SEED CATHEDRAL In discussing his projects Heatherwick talks about the importance he places on texture and materiality and these two elements are critical to the effects produced by the Seed Cathedral. In his design he uses small parts that come together to create a whole. Each seed pod on its own represents one small piece, but from a distance it gives an appearance of something hazy and cloud-like. From a closer angle the individual parts become clearer and their differences more marked. Furthermore, by using light-transmitting materials he creates further effects of texture, light and shadow that change in relation to environmental conditions or relative to the position of users of the space.

LOST IN PARAMETER SPACE In ‘Lost in parameter space’, Scheurer and Stehling illustrate the differences between abstraction and reduction in digital 3D modelling. They contend that ‘a perfect model does not contain as much information as possible, but as little as necessary to describe the properties of an object unambiguously’. In modelling the floatie tube I feel I tried to do this as the unpredictable nature of inflation meant it would have been difficult to produce an exact replica model, and that the essence of the system, the inflatable tubes and the volume they created was what was most important part to recreate. Reduction on the other hand focusses on the most efficient way to represent the information by removing unncessary information in the model. In this regard I’m not sure how succesful my model of the floatie was as there were certain elements I found difficult to model, and the choices I made may not have been the most efficient or appropriate ways to create relatively simple shapes and volumes.



These images show the uninflated form of our prototype. In this prototype a series of new issues for the design emerged: 1. Securing the top to the bottom layer: the transformanility of the top layer cannot be compromised byt he rigidity of the bottom layer. Further connection methods will need to be tested, though the method used here was effective - the curvature of the fold is used such that the flat edge of the folded form can be secured flat to the underside layer. 2. Power of inflation: For a more dramatic effect, a stronger pressure will be required. Options for this will be researched.

TOP CENTRE + LOWER LEFT The three layers which work together to form our system; rigid underside, inflatable bladder and transformable top layer.


TOP LEFT + RIGHT These illustrate the potential for transformation, possible with additional folds being containted in the space. This will add to the overall weight of the object and therefore require more air to push out the folds. However it also allows us the opportunity to create something as dramatic as our design concept requires. LOWER LEFT An image of the underside of the prototype reveals the simplicity at this stage of the bottom layer - here is the potential for something more sculptured, though the feasibility of our top layer working will directly influence to what extent we can experiment with this bottom layer further. At this stage, the top layer is a greater priority and has been developed in more detail.




VE Journal - Ongoing