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Module 2 Paulina Pytka

Student No: 637869 Semester 2/2013 Group 12

Response to Lecture and Assigned Readings Lecture: Oxford student accommodation design   In this week’s lecture, Prof. Paul Loh spoke about a project he worked on in London with MJP architects. In describing the design process of Kendrew Quadrangle, he focused on the importance of prototyping. Essentially, a prototype differs from a model in the way that it allows for testing the design as well as the materials from which it is to be constructed. In most projects, prototyping occurs at a variety of scales. Initially, it may be modelled at 1:100 to allow experimentation with the form of the building early in the design process. Later on, more finalised designs can be created as large as 1:33 as in the example of Jean Nouvel and his Louvre design in Abu Dhabi to assist in visually communicating his vision to the client. In Prof. Paul Loh’s case, it was necessary to construct a 1:1 prototype so that the effectiveness of joints between the student rooms could be assessed as well as the durability of the wooden cladding on the exterior under wet conditions. In this way, Prof. Loh illustrated how the prototyping stage is essential to the success of any model and it is particularly important to accept the failures that will inevitably occur on first attempt.     TED talk: Thomas Heatherwick   Thomas Heatherwick’s work sheds light on the materiality of architecture. In his presentation, Heatherwick shares his very individual approach to existing designs, such as that of opening bridges, by associating them with personal experience, such as that of an athlete breaking his leg. In this way, he offers a particular point of view from which he is able to challenge the way bridges can operate. Similarly, he encapsulates the upside-down concept of reversing one’s ideas in his Seed Cathedral, reflecting on the underappreciating of a seed in inspiring architecture as a tree of leaf does. Accordingly, he is able to create a grand gesture of very small elements without detracting from their individual value. Each seed encased in plays an important role in the composition in such a way as its absence, as in the “shaved” entrance, marks a powerful feature of the building.     Reading: Lost in Parameter Space   In Lost in Parameter Space, Scheurer details the progression of three-dimensional modelling technologies from computer-aided design (CAD) to computer-aided engineering (CAE). His message however, does not commend the movement away from two-dimensional modes of representation as much as it highlights the room for error in such up and coming technologies that heavily rely on approximation. Most importantly, he shows that such programs are based on complex algorithms that are ultimately controlled by human minds and require careful consideration, which is the key to architecture, as opposed to leaving everything up to a machine to finalize.

Personal Space Analysis

A general diameter of 0.2 meter around the head acts as a protective helmet

0.2 meter distance above the head prevents the threat from “patting” the individual’s head and making them feel inferior.

Even though the eyes are a delicate part of the body, a second skin shouldn’t cover them as their exposure can be a powerful tool for intimidation as well as allowing the individual to perceive a threat.


Additional height makes the individual seam taller and more dominant to a potential threat.


0.5 meter away from torso to secure adequate personal space and protect vital organs

For a right handed individual, it is believed that the left hand is more sensitive, being less controllable and occasionally acting as dead weight.

The back does not necessarily need to be covered as humans are generally more comfortable with people standing close behind them as opposed to in front of them.

Precedent Study Panel and Fold Mauricio Velasquez Posada uses the body as a metaphor of the geographical in his Geomorfos. His dresses explore various snapology, kirigami, corrugations, tessellations and Chinese paper folding technique, sharing the origami inspired category at many prestigious fashion events.   Essentially, each structure is molded against the body in such a way as to create an additional layer or skin that encapsulates a particular movement. The designs that focus on linear components create a sense of fluidity, mimicking a swaying motion simply in the structure. Similarly, those with protruding elements give a sense of expansion. Here, the repetitive use of star forms creates a series of tapered elements that extend from the body and into the distance, much like the way one’s limbs do in a star-jump. Each design is highly evocative, bringing about emotions ranging from fear to peacefulness. For the purpose of the second skin project, focusing of those designs that are intimidating in their proclamation of space such a the large geometric forms with threatening, sharp edges. However, it may also be useful to note how the calmer, curved designs seem so perfect that an intruder to the subject’s personal space may avoid them for the shear concern of ruining their delicate masterpiece. In this way, one may instigate a “treating” atmosphere around their body as opposed to the traditional idea of “fleeing”. A final comparison between Mauricio Velasquez Posada's use of geometric forms and those more organic and curved shows that the latter may allow for a wider range of movement and in turn, be more comfortable for the subject to wear. Essentially, a rigid second skin may impose itself onto the subject just as a stranger wood, result in an equally disturbing situation. h"p://ajure"­‐inspired-­‐fashion-­‐designs-­‐part.html  

Structural System Selection Panel and Fold


Skin and Bones


•  Repetition of single element may simplify design •  Easy to fabricate •  Wide range of design possibilities

•  Light weight •  May allow for a flexible design that secures personal space when inflated and is concealed upon deflation.

•  Ability of system to act as a frame to support members of other structural systems


•  Complications in arranging panels to form a pattern •  Limitations of shapes (i.e. pentagons) in forming repetitive patterns

•  Difficulty to maintain linear qualities of geometric shapes after inflation •  Limited design possibilities •  Complex fabrication process •  Required materials are not as readily available as for other systems

•  May result in rigidity that can inhibit the individual’s ability to move

Development Sketch Idea This design encloses the body much like a series of roots would cling to their source of nutrients. The irregular, organic components wrap around the torso and center around the heart of the individual in effort to remind the oncoming threat of their human qualities. Similarly, the eyes have been exposed as eye contact is believed to be a powerful defense feature in securing personal space.


This is essentially a panel and fold system, however it is believed that adding an inflatable component could allow one to secure more personal space upon demand. Accordingly, a skin and bone structural system could provide some control over the components such as adjusting their position on the body or allowing them to fold away.



The design sits flat against the back and is molded to the shape of the individuals torso. Its main points of support are the shoulders seeing as the components are extruded away fro the front of the body due to the belief that humans are less comfortable with strangers facing them.



Development Design 01 This design combines all three structural systems. Panel and fold: three leaf-like panels that wrap around critical points of the torso and one winding sleeve around the left arm that can stack upwards and rest in a compartment on the left shoulder. Inflatable: the three main torso components can expand to secure additional personal space upon demand Skin and bone: the underlying frame winding around the body onto which the inflatable panels are connected.


Materiality Paper The decision to use paper for this design same from the desire for a flexible quality as well as adequate strength to support the desired form of individual pipe elements. Essentially, through the manual prototyping process, 80g/m2 paper was proven to be the easiest to mold into the desired shape and retain it after the application of glue. Thicker paper tended to unfold while drying while cardboard was too thick to adopt the desired curvature. Despite the advantages of using printing paper, the fabrication of many small pipes was very time consuming. Furthermore, it was impossible to ensure all pipes had the exact same diameter even though they were rolled from the same pieces of paper. This brought about the idea that a series of premade pipes or straws may be a better option for the final model. In terms of digital modeling, it is believed that thin paper can be effectively using curved planar surfaces or through the Sweep1 command in Rhino. Theses forms can then be manipulated into position. Wire Having studied structural systems outside of panel and fold, the concept of skin and bone has been of assistance to this design in regards to the underlying frame which will support the paper elements and allow them to stand vertically. Fundamentally, the malleable yet firm characteristics of wire will allow the design to be molded against the organic form of the human body and provide a line (in the case of the head and ankle components) or mesh (in the case of the torso component) onto which the paper pipes can be adhered vertically.

Torso: Heart Prototype Effects 1.  Fragility The clustering of pipe-like elements has a very delicate quality due to the omnipresence of air within their holes. Similarly, the paper material is associated with temporality which may evoke a sense of care and caution among potential threats to personal space. 2. Motion By varying the heights of individual pipes, a fluid motion is created across the entire structure. Hence it encapsulates those associated with the heart beating and pumping blood through the veins of the human body. 3. Colour A burst of red has been created through the grouping of red components and gradually dispersing them through the remaining white body. Positioned to the upper left of the front on the torso, this emphasizes the presence of the heart and subsequently, the human quality of the individual. Essentially, the colour white is the epitome of fragility and beauty as illustrated by the classical wedding dress, however, the small addition of red serves the purpose of subtly cautioning the outcome of a threat approaching the space of vulnerability represented by a white paper cloud.

Rhino model: Torso In digitally modeling this prototype, the following commands were utilized: Curve, Circle, Sweep1, Copy and paste, and Gumball. Plan



Virtual module 2