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Paulina Pytka

Student No: 637869 Semester 2/2013 Group 12


Panel and Fold: Artichoke The following orthographic drawings of an artichoke illustrate a naturally occurring panel and fold system. The object was measured through a process which involved photography, then tracing the image before transferring it onto paper.


The plan (figure 1) illustrates the overlapping nature of the artichoke leaves as they tightly enclose the plant’s heart. These components adopt a concave shape in order to best fulfill their purpose.

Figure 1. Plan


The elevation (figure 2) shows the way in which the paneling pattern of the artichoke ensures all gaps are covered through alternation of leaves.

Figure 2. Elevation


The section (figure 3) reveals the way in which the artichoke leaves grow outwards, and away from the heart of the plant. Accordingly, the outermost panels are the most developed in size and texture. Being much coarser than those on inner layers, the leaves exhibit centralized splitting from the top to approximately midway in effort to improve the curvature of the form and subsequently, the ability of the panel to suit the body of the object. Moving inwards, it can be seen that younger leaves are softer and thus, more flexible allowing them to adopt a bent ‘s’ shape observed from the side.

Figure 3. Section


Leaves The artichoke leaves generally exhibit a similar form, overlooking the central splitting that occurs as one moves further away from the plants core due to textural differences. In addition to a horizontal axis of symmetry, two proportional triangles in the approximate ratio of 2:3 were observed on either side of the diamond shaped leaves.


Digital Model


Digital model of an artichoke in Rhino using the sphere, revolve, copy and paste, and rotate3d commands.

Digital model of an artichoke in Rhino using the ghosted perspective as well as the revolve and colour properties commands.


Reconfiguring the Object

A. Peeling the artichoke

B. Single file overlapping as opposed to the gap-filling alternation observed originally in the artichoke

C. Use of pins to secure form though as younger leaves are introduced, their sticky texture allows for their occasional omission

D. Resulting spiral allows for building on layers


E. Curving form of leaf panels allows to maintain a circular shape as observed originally in the artichoke

F. Differently sized panels give way to a tapering effect on the form

G. The stem is held in place by the smallest leaves at the top

H. That which was observed through the cross section is translated to the exterior of the object as a result


Sketch Designs


01 This design focuses on paneling, taking an organic formed brace and layering it with a series of overlapping pentagons. The result is a relatively rigid structure, encapsulating the “freezing” behaviour commonly exhibited by an individual experiencing an invasion of space.

The pointed extensions in front and behind the subject are strategically orientated to ensure adequate personal space and direct potential intruders away by instigating a subconscious fear of being “pointed” at.

Scale-like pentagons tiled along a brace

Drooping sides allow the subject to look around and perceive the scene in which they find themselves. The limited isolation from intruders here complies with the theory that humans are more comfortable with others standing closely by their sides that in front or behind them.


02 This design is composed of seven leaf-like curving elements that encase the torso. They are composed in such a way as to rest on the shoulders and against the back while stretching out forwards away from the body. In this way, this second skin aims to mark a personal space outside the individual.

The point at which all of the leaf forms meet emphasizes a core much like that observed in the artichoke. However, in a human, this refers to the heart. Together With the prominence of the face from among this design, the subject is brought to life, reminding the intruder about their living and breathing qualities which demand some distance.


03 This design focuses on folding to create volume. Its adjustable quality means that it can be applied according to the way the user feels. For example, the head piece can be unfolded to claim additional territory when their personal space is being invaded. Furthermore, it may be used as an intimidation device, much like that observed on lizards, whereby the increase in size scares of any threat.

Physical modeling using origami methods of folding

First position: all elements of folding system compressed above the head in cone-like form

Second position: elements released to drape towards shoulders


Virtual Environments Journal