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DIGITAL DESIGN + FABRICATION SM1, 2017 MULTILINEAR CONSTRUCTION STEVEN LEE 685769

Tutor: Amanda Masip Tutorial: Monday 4:15pm - 6:15pm

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CONTENTS INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................................................... 7 IDEATION......................................................................................................................................................................... 8 DESIGN............................................................................................................................................................................ 24 FABRICATION.................................................................................................................................................................. 45 REFLECTION..................................................................................................................................................................... 72 APPENDIX........................................................................................................................................................................ 74

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INTRODUCTION

SKIN AND BONES: THE UMBRELLA

The material system which we chose to explore was the Skin and Bones. We started out by studying and investigating the chosen umbrella. Through various exercises such as taking accurate measurement, deconstructing different members and reconfiguring the object, we were able to gain in-depth understanding of the logics behind its initial construction and apply this throughout our project. This formed an important basis to which we built upon for our second skin design and fabrication.

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IDEATION Dynamic and transformable. Reconfigured the hinge mechanism of the umbrella with paper skin attached, used to explore how volume and space can be extended.

ABSTRACT

Our earlier designs revolved around measuring, modelling and researching on how to improve our skills, so that our models can better reflect the designs which we desire to achieve. We measured the chosen object carefully, and attempted to model in all the details around the complex hinge elements. In return, we were able to improve our 3D modelling skills greatly, and hence utilise this skill to help develop our sketch designs.

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Measured Drawings MEASURING METHODOLOGY As the chosen umbrella is large and cannot be fitted within a scanner, the object’s dimensions were measured manaully with a medium-sized ruler and a tape measure. Photographs were also taken to help reproduce certain details on the moveable hinges and supporting structures.

ELEVATION SCALE 1:6

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The plan view was constructed in a similar way as how the elevation view was created. Photographs were taken from a topdown view, then they were used as references to how the umbrella looks like from a top-down angle. Dimensions of the skin component were measured manually using tape measure.

PLAN SCALE 1:6

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Analysis

Step 1

These two supporting structure made of steel help evenly distribute the force applied to the main extendable strucutre when the umbrella is being opened.

Step 2

As an upward force is applied to the middle grip, the bones of the structure begins to extend outwards to the positive direction of the x-axis. Note: The small arrows inside the Step 2 Sketch indicate where the fabric component of the umbrella is attached to.

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SKIN AND BONES ANALYSIS OF THE UMBRELLA

Going from step 3 to step 4, one of the biggest changes is that the right-most bone structure changes form. Initially, the plastic bone element is straight (as shown in Step 3). However, when the umbrella is fully opened (as shown in Step 4), the plastic bone element becomes curved due to the tensile forces applied by the skin fabric at the sites indicated by the small arrows in Step 4. Step 3

The umbrella’s bone structure can be considered as quite flexible and it also makes use of a semicomplex mechanism to help support and distribute the force applied while it is being opened up. The overall bone structure consists of eight main bone strucutures, which are all connected to the main extendable handle. The skin component is attached simply through a small number of knots and is held in place by a tensile force, which also helps strengthen the overall structure.

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Step 4


Digital Model Rendered views of the umbrella model are shown.

TOP VIEW

PERSPECTIVE BOTTOM VIEW

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DETAILS Close-up render of the opening handle.

Bone Structure Render (without skin) ELEVATION

Close-up render of the supporting hinge, which is located on the first extension segment.

ELEVATION (without skin)

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Digital Model

The render shown on the left is the section view of the umbrella, which was created to show how the skin fits on top of the bone structure.

On the right, the screen capture shows all the bone structure curves being highlighted in blue, while all the skin-related curves and surfaces are highlighted in red and orange. This is created to help viewers further distinguish how the bones and skins interact and how they are seperated from each other.

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Digital Modelling Process

Step 1: Start off by modelling the grip of the umbrella and

Step 2: Construct the hexagonal surfaces and extrude them

Step 3: Model the top part of the umbrella handle, use Bool-

Step 4: Check and ensure that all the dimensions are all as

fillet the edge of the solid according to measurement.

to form the main vertical structure.

ean Difference to help construct this complex shape.

measured.

Step 5: Construct the first segment of the bone structure by

Step 6: Use straight line, curves (with control points), circles

Step 7: Make further use of curves (with control points) and

Step 8: Construct the end of the second segment and setup

first setting up a rectangle and sweeping along it.

(along curve) and sweep commands to construct the hinge.

circle along curves to help model this more complex section.

the starting point for the final segment.

Step 9: Construct the final bending segment with curved line.

Step 10: Check the overall geometry and make adjustments.

Step 11: The bone structure is complete.

Step 12: Use polar array to generate the remaining bones.

Step 13: Draw in the curve which will be used for 2-Rail

Step 14: Use the 2-Rail Sweep to construct one of the 8

Step 15: Use Polar Array to generate the remaining seven

Step 16: The modelling process is complete!

Sweep.

surfaces of the umbrella skin.

umbrella surfaces.

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Sketch Model MODELLING PROCESS AND TESTING BONE STRUCTURE The design process of the sketch model started with two major components which are the pop sticks and the thumb tacks, as they will serve to be the main supporting bone structure. Tiny holes were then drilled at either ends of each pop sticks so that the thumb tacks can be used to secure the joints. After the joints are set in place, a needle-nose plier was then used to clamp down the thumb tack, forming a simple but yet secure and rotatable joint. Various pop sticks were then joined together in the same way to achieve the design shown in the bottom right photo.

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SKIN STRUCTURE After the bone structure was completed, experiments began on what material and shape should the skin use, and how they would be attached to the pop sticks.

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It was soon decided that paper should be used as they are readily available, easily modified, and can be attached simply by tape.

Papers were cut and then folded in a way so they they can fit the supporting bone structure seamlessly, even when the structure is been extended or contracted.


Sketch Model FINAL MODEL The model is designed with the intention for it to be able to take on multiple forms as the Skin & Bone system expands or contracts. The three photos of the final product briefly demonstrate how the system behaves as it expands horizontally, while it shrinks vertically. The bottom-right image shows the artwork of the poster, which inspired the creation of this sketch model.

SONY,. (2015). No Man’s Sky Banner Artwork. Retrieved from http://www.thevideogamegallery.com/gallery/image:22068

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Sketch Design #1 Dynamic Self-Adjusting Arm Shell

INSPIRATION The way we pose your body is directly linked to how we convey our body language when interacting with another indivitual. This idea can be easily explored by considering two different situations. On the left we have a more relaxed stance, where the person’s arm is relaxed, hence having a less protruding bones under the shaded second skin. However, the person on the right is crossing their arm, this could often imply that this individual’s patience is running out, therefore having a slightly worse temperament. This is indicated by the spiky bones, which are pushing the second skin outwards.

How does this respond to your personal space? This design is based on the simple idea that our second skin adjusts itself as our standing posture changes from one to another.

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Sketch Design #2 Adjustable & Layered Polygon-based Protective Covering

Defensive

Neutral

More Aggressive

Layered Polygons Added

Plan View

INSPIRATION This design is partially inspired by the way how the sketch model in the previous section was constructured, but with a twist added to it. At the beginning, it was just a simple cloak with adjustable joints which can be used to abstract an individual’s personal space depending on their location/emotional state/people around them. However, it was later discovered that adding multiple layers of polygon with increasing number of corners (in a top to bottom descending order) can create a very interesting geometry.

How does this respond to your personal space? The final design of this sketch model focuses mainly on the complex nature of an individual’s personal space, as the sharp ends of the polygons can be seen as boundaries of one’s comfort zone. Perspective View 1

Perspective View 2

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Sketch Design #3 Adjustable Polygon-based Protective Covering

INSPIRATION This particular design combined different ideas from the Sketch Model and the Workshop Model (made with skin and bones materials). The supporting structure around the neck came from the experience in the workshop, as it was vital for the overall structure to be able to rely on some sort of rigid support, so that it is not easily collapsed. It is quite obvious that the adjustable frames’ idea was taken from the Sketch Model. Neck Supporting Structure With Adjustable Frames Below

How does this respond to your personal space? When the above-mentioned components are combined to form this sketch design, they are meant to explore the idea of how a person’s second skin can fade away (expressed through the vertically adjustable frames), as the individual are approached by more friendly characters. Workshop Model

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Module 1 Reflection Despite being the shortest module consisting of only two weeks of time, this was truly and eye-opening experience. During the seminars, I was able to discuss and learn from other peers on how everyone’s different design has their own interpretation of personal space and how it extends upon the simple ideas originated from Sommer’s Personal Space reading materials. The most memorable one being the story of how we can measure this imaginary space by approaching someone in a relatively empty area (such as a relatively empty library) and test for people reaction when you try to sit close to their vicinity. This helped my better visualise what personal space means in my head and was imperative for my developmental process when I was designing and developing my first three secondskin ideas. These ideas ended up forming the basis of how I came to understand personal space, interpret it and how I express them in the later modules. Furthermore, through the group formed at the end of Module 1, I found the most compelling part in designating a specific personal space is when various group members come together, take all the ideas out and we eventually converge to a design checkpoint which we all agree upon. It is fascinating on how ideas can form, develop and be mixed with others, and this process where we are heading for the next part of this journal, module 2, design.

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DESIGN Module by Alice Shan Jiang (783943), Chester Wong (618157), Nicholas Collins (758427) & Steven Lee (685769)

ABSTRACT

In this module, I worked with my group members to design and develop our preferred ideas of a second skin. While there were some disagreements initially, after a few sessions of constructive discussions, we were able to catch-up to the require pace and ended up producing some interesting design which we tested in the end through laser-cutting and building various small-scale prototypes.

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Sketch Design Development

During the group discussion, there were various interpretations surrounding how our sketch design should proceed, since each group member has different ways of comprehending personal space. From my perspective, personal space is most prominent around the front of the person, because most of the time we are looking forward and focusing on what is happening around the front of our body (within our field of view). On the other hand, entities which are below our height usually seem less threatening from a visual perspective, hence the lower body’s personal space does not extend as much when compared to our upper body. At the end, we decided to focus on the two ideas which we were most passionate about.

First Idea The first one is Chester’s design involving nonuniform loops which can help create the effect of varying levels of privacy through manipulating the density of the loops and how they are positioned. For instance, wires forming in a dense region can represent the idea of a private personal space, while the sparse region can represent a more open personal space.

Second Idea The second idea which we took into consideration was Alice’s sketch design, which involved forming minimal surfaces around the subjects’ bodies. Compared to other initial design ideas, this one stands out as it attempts to explore the idea that second skin design can incorporate more than one subject. This sketch design focuses on the personal space around a couple which tends to share personal space to create the effect of intimacy.

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Refined Sketch Model

We worked on developing the sketch model based on Chester’s sketch design, which involved using wires to wrap around the wooden figure’s head and arm. This helped us to visualise what the design would look like in a smaller scale. (Shown at the bottom-right image) Through this practical activity, we were also able to experiment with the materials and the various different ways they can be arranged to produce different effects. After building the first sketch model based on Chester’s idea, we moved on to work on the sketch model which would serve as the basis for how we would construct the surface for Alice’s sketch design. These sketch model explores the idea of how strings and wires could be used as tensile elements, which helps strengthen the integrity of the bone structure, but also form a surface at the same time.

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Lost in Parameter Space

While accurate, machine’s precision is not infinite and still have uncertainties.

Due to the rapid development of modern technology, CAD programs became rather popular among various professional fields including architecture. Throughout the reading, I was able to gain valuable insights into how the formal design processes can be broken down into various parts including abstraction in modelling, materials and details. This then lead to ways on how we can minimise clutter in designs through means such as reduction and utilising algorithms to maximise efficiency. One of the most interesting portion of the reading links back to the my studies on mechatronics major, which is regarding the precision of computers and how floating point numbers are actually not infinitely accurate. This prompted me to be cautious with my designs in Module 2, so that when the small prototypes were fabricated, I would know to check for all the uncertainties involved in the CAD programs and lasercutting machines, to ensure that the end results are desirable. Moreover, one of the questions posed within the reading kept me thinking, “how can we communicate and discuss complex architectural structures in a meaningful way – not between digital machines but between the human minds assembled in a project team?”. Inherently, this question involves many layers of the design process, but the one which resonated with me the most, is how we can communicate efficiently, as a team. There were often times when we were too involved with the digital designs, but did not think about its feasibility in real life, and this meant that in those cases, we had to scrape certain ideas which we spent ages thinking about, and start a brand new one. Hence, it is incredibly important to know how to strike the balance between diving too deep within the tools which we are given and ensure not to over-rely on the generated algorithmic solutions. This would then enable us to create quality design process and allow others to better understand our ideas.

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2nd Skin proposed design V.1

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Front Elevation

Right Elevation

Isometric

Plan


Description

Design Choices Field of View: Eye contact is still possible as the top part of the head is not fully covered.

Area of Effect: The arms can move around to protect the body when necessary.

This proposed design is based on the idea of meeting someone for the first time. The first design choice was made to include various layers of rings around the person, which are meant to illustrate the point that the person is not fully opened up to the other stranger and requires time in order to put their guard down. However, from the front view, it is noticeable that the rings stop developing around the nose level, that is due to the reason that clear vision is imperative when meeting someone for the first time, as visual communication plays a vital role on how we perceive another person, and is also used as a basis to form our impression of others.

Engaging with other Individuals: Physical contacts such as shaking hands with others is also possible.

The rings on the arm serve as an extension of our second skin, as most people tend to shake hands when meeting someone for the first time (even more so in semi-formal to formal situations). Hence, they are included to assert dominance, which leads to the idea that our personal space extends outwards as we reach out and greet other people.

Illustration on Personal Space Mapping

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2nd Skin proposed design V.2

Front Elevation

Plan

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Isometric


Design Choices This design is proposed based on defining personal space between couples. It is noticed that people tend to lose their individuality in relationships. However, in a healthy relationship, two persons can be close and intimate, but they still need private time. Thus, we designed a structure that help couples to have emotional and intellectual contact as well as independency.

Figure 1: Research Image of Personal Space Between Couples

Figure 2: Precedent Image of Paradise Entry Pavilion

Inspired by the project of “Paradise Entry Pavilion”, we adapted the idea of minimal surface in our design. It is an appropriate reference because couples can share maxi- mum space with the minimal surface creating minimal volume in the middle. The structure opens up the areas around chests and heads, which enables couples have emotional and intellectual contact. Meanwhile, both of the arms’ area of the two people are protected to encourage them develop their own hobbies and private activities. We design identical structure on two genders, which makes the whole structure look symmetrical. It is because this design still wants to emphasize the inseparable entity of couple while maintaining individuality rather than emphasize the gender. This idea is also expressed through the entwined wires connecting the two persons, which symbolises the subtle but strong connections between couples. Overall, it is a philosophical and symbolic design, although some design problems remained unsolved.

Figure 3: Personal Space Mapping Between Couples

Figure 4: Sketch Design

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Precedent Research 1

Burnham Pavilions - By Zaha Hadid & Ben van Berkel Volume/Layering/Spacing The structure of the Burnham Pavilions consists of steel members which wrap around in an oval/elliptical shape, forming a shell structure. It has a membrane made of fabric, but due to its overall design, it also produces the visual effects of layering, while its gaps provide a futuristic aesthetics to the viewers. It is one of the two structures which were constructed for celebrating the anniversary of the Plan of Chicago, and is used for symbolising architectural growth and development.

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Precedent applied to design Volume / Layering / Irregular Patterns

Concept 1 [Spherical Skin & Bone]

Concept 2 [Revolving Arches]

Concept 3 [Cross-over Arches]

Inspired by the precedent study, we began developing the small modules which could be used to populate the arm and the head. Concept 1 involves using circular loops in various orientation to show the smooth extension of the personal space around the body. This design attempts to achieve the effect of increasing the privacy level around the denser region.

The second concept has a simpler approach of revolving similarly shaped arches around a common rotational axis. These arches are intended to form a smooth surface which could possibly be used as small modules to populate around the subject’s body, hence providing a different way of extending one’s personal space.

The third concept is extended upon the design of Concept 2. Instead of having just arches revolved around one axis, this time there are two axes of rotation, allowing the arches to cross each other in a perpendicular manner. This is intended to create a heavier emphasis on the skin extended from the body, as the arches are crossing each other more densely compared to Concept 2’s more relaxed design.

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Precedent Research 2

Linear Constructions - By Naum Gabo Bone Structure With Wire Skin These models made from nylon lament wound between plastic planes. The wound laments give the sense that the object is three dimensional by creating volume linking the planes.
Naum Gabo created many sculptures of this kind. He tried to create form without mass. This means to have a shape and skin of the object but hollow and exoskeleton-like. His work is smooth and organic, with the bones owing in continuous lines. The way the wire skin is threaded ads depth and has varying texture due to the positions of the individual wires. We tried exploring ways in which a wire skin on a plastic bone structure can create volume, how different patterns of weaving can give a different sensory effect. We explored how different shapes and configurations of the bone structure can lead to different skin patterns and forms. We made sketches and Rhino models of these bone structures, and then after laser cutting some pieces of the bone structure we explored how the threads could be combined in different ways to create form and texture.

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Precedent applied to design

The linear connection methodology introduced by Naum Gabo can be applied to proposed design V.2. In the Proposed Design V.2, we initially would like to explore the idea of minimal surface. However, the effect is turned out to be rather hard to achieve because it is difficult to find the tensile material which can form the minimal surface and gives a delicate finish at the same time. This problem of materiality remained unsolved until we found the example of Naum Gabo. Now we can use the rotation of linear members to form a curved surface, as shown in digital models on the upper right corner. In terms of the overall shape, there are two ways of applying the precedent study. The first one is to use a series of large bone members fixed to the rail as the guideline, and then cover the bone structure using wires to form skin structure and consolidate the volume of the whole structure. It is relatively easier to be fabricated. The second version is to use a repetition of a small module around the vital areas of the body. The size of the small module can vary to better fit on the body. Also, the overlapping of the small modules can give more complex and aesthetically appealing patterns.

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Design development - Version #1

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Front Elevation

Right Elevation

Isometric

Plan


Elaboration on Design Process After conducting the precedent research on the Burnham Pavilions, we developed the original design which we thought was too simple and linear, as there were only flat circular elements been stacked on top of each other. Our revised design adds another level of complexity on top of the original design, as we aimed to deliver the idea that our personal space is only partially open when we are meeting someone else for the first time.

Bottom-up Perspective View

Close-up of the Head Structure

This design development makes use of the concept 1 from the Burnham Pavilions precedent study to create spherical skins around the subject’s head and arms. The modularised spheres were scaled and adjusted accordingly to achieve the intended effect of been half-open and half-closed at the same time. The close-up image of the right side of the head shows that the ears are covered almost entirely, but with gaps which still allow the sound waves through. This is intended to create the effect that our subject is constantly filtering and analysing the conversation with the person whom the subject is meeting with. Similarly, the close-up image of the head structure indicate that the visual communication is constantly been filtered as only the right eye is fully exposed to the environment.

Right Side of Head

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Design development - Version #2

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Front Elevation

Right Elevation

Isometric

Plan


Reviewing Initial Design Alice’s proposed design did not turn out to be exactly what we wanted, as we thought that the minimal surfaces would be more aesthetically pleasing and could be implemented without much trouble. In reality, it was much harder to implement and did not meet our initial expectations in terms of visual impact and design aesthetics. Hence, we decided to revise the original proposal and re-think our overall approach and develop an alternative design based on our precedent study.

Origin of the Developed Design From looking at the original design, we wanted to develop an alternative solution which are more practical and aesthetically pleasing. We began by placing the two guide line rails which maps the boundaries of the personal space, and they would encapsulate the skin and bone structure, which are added in after.

Incoperation of Precedent Study After we were satisfied with the overall shape of the newly developed design, we moved on to experiment with how the Linear Constructions precedent research can help us construct the surface of the design. It was then decided that we would implement the skin layer by using strings in tension, which led us to the final design shown on the previous page.

About this Developed Design This newly developed design continues to explore the idea behind personal space of individuals who are in an intimate relationship with another person. In addition, the design is also extended to the encapsulate concept of keeping a reasonable distance between each other without undermining the ongoing relationship. The Perspex circular base located above the chest with arms attached perpendicularly is meant to illustrate how everyone has rights to keep their own thoughts in their heart, even if they are in an intimate relationship with another person, they are not obliged to sharing all their secrets and private thoughts. The perpendicular arms symbolise layers of protection which protrude outwards with various strings forming a mostly transparent skin, allowing outside ideas to come through.

Step 1: Guide Line Rails

Step 2: Inclusion of Arm Structures

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Prototype

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Digital Prototype (Perspex Frames 1st Attempt) Stages

1. Chose the front structure for prototype

2. Lasercut the Perspex Board

3. Effects & Issues

Problems with the First Prototype Once the front section was chosen for prototyping purpose, we separated all the pieces into individual segments and sent it to the Fabrication Lab for laser-cutting the Perspex board. Major problem appeared as soon as we attempted to assemble the Perspex parts. As it turned out, we did not leave sufficient amount of offset at the end of each Perspex frame, consequently the tips which are meant to join with the circular base plate were extremely fragile. After a few attempts of connecting the frames to the base plate, most of the rectangular joints snapped off.

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Digital Prototype (Perspex Frames 2nd Attempt) Stages

1. Designed a smaller but more rigid frame.

2. Lasercut the Perspex Board

3. Effects & Issues Problems with Assembly The small connector shown above turned out to be ineffective in a long-term usage scenario. As we started to joining strings from one frame to another, the connector module began to suffer from permanent deformation. Eventually, the module snapped in half due to the unsustainable bending moment. Fortunately, all the other parts could be attached with no major issues, thus allowing us to move forward to in-depth testing of the prototype.

(This time, three different types of Perspex frames were produced for testing.)

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Testing Effects

From the two prototypes constructed, we were able to test the effects of the second skin visually and document every step photographically. We found that the first prototype with only white strings, required very specific backgrounds to be visually impactful as the white colour could easily blend into other lighter backgrounds.

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Testing Effects (continued)

Through the second prototype involving black and white strings (above), we found that we were not only limited to creating curvature and volume in 3D, but also different layers which can be used to suggest different levels of privacy when we are mapping out personal space. For instance, the region covered by only white string could be used to represent a more open personal space, while the region covered by only black strings can illustrate the idea of more private personal space. This then leads to the final layer with black and white strings crossing each other, which can be used to convey the idea of an intimate private space, which is reserved for the subject himself/herself.

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FABRICATION Module by Alice Shan Jiang (783943), Chester Wong (618157), Nicholas Collins (758427) & Steven Lee (685769)

ABSTRACT

In the module, we continued to polish our design through laser-cutting various versions of prototypes and then proceeded to fabricate the full scale model. Despite encountering many challenging obstacles, we were able to conquer all the problems and achieve the desirable final model.

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Introduction During the module 2 presentation, our group was able to receive invaluable feedback from both our assigned tutor, Amanda, and guest critic, Chen. Most of the feedbacks were focused on how we should be pushing the limit of the perspex frames more (reduce frame thickness, decrease frame width and hole size), and how the joints of the perspex pieces should be incorporated into the overall design. The prototype which focused on building curved surfaces (shown on the right) was better received, as it produced interesting curvature through bending the perspex pieces. On the other hand, the second prototype which explored the idea of utilizing two different types of string was not as interesting as the other counter-part. Hence, we decided to focus mainly on developing the first prototype further.

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Design development The first design which we developed after module 2 focused on the idea of how similar-sized triangular pieces can be used to populate the frames around the body, and then use ideas similar to Naum Gabo’s linear construction sculptures to form a layer of skin on top by using strings/wires. The strings will also serve another purpose, which is using tension to hold all the

About the Images

Three Rhino renders are shown at the bottom, which illustrates the model which we were attempting to build.

We aim to achieve this through the construction method of using the flexibility of perspex to create curvature, and then forming skins between each element by threading strings/wires between them.

However, this design development’s growth did not meet the group’s expectation, mainly because it was not particularly pleasing aesthetically and was not a good indicator on how we wanted to express our personal space in a three-dimensional world (the elements were simply too repetitive, and they were not able to provide a good sense of contrast). Therefore we eventually moved on to another design which involved building a frame around the subject’s neck and then extending modules on top and around the frames (shown in the next 2 pages).

On the right, we have two of Naum Gabo’s linear construction sculptures (top and middle images), which we were aspired to create something similar, but yet unique in our own way.

In the end, our design will be able to extend personal space based onthe original concept drawing which we came up with during module 2 (shown at bottom right).

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Design development + fabrication of Prototype V.2 Through experimenting with the existing perspex pieces we have obtained from laser-cutting. We were able to produce interesting shapes and frames which we thought had potential for further development. The first step we took was building a large hollowsphere-like object (top image on the right) which is made out of smaller triangular frames with tiny holes positioned near the outer rims. Due to the flexibility of the perspex frames, we were able to bend various element and join them all together with relative ease. However, the more challenging part was how we could position this large element onto the body while maintaining overall structural balance, so that the frame would not fracture or fall apart once the assembly is complete. After spending some time experimenting the positioning on our team mate, we were able to successfully attach the large spherical element onto the body of the subject (shown in middle and bottom images), while ensuring it is self-balanced. Unfortunately, due to the fragile characteristics of the perspex frames, any abrupt movement from the subject or external impact mean that the overall structure would fall apart.

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Rhino Modelling of Prototype V.2 This is one of the parts which we overlooked initially, as the skin and bone material system often involves bending the elements, which means there was no way which we can depict the real-life model with 100% accuracy. Therefore we took another approach which approximated the overall design to a certain extend. During the modeling phase, our group has attempted various different ways on how we can accurately simulate the curvatures resulted from bending the triangular pieces. However, the Rhino commands such as “bend” and “scale” were simply not able to give an accurate output. We eventually opted for the easier path of modeling the second skin’s frames by modifying each shapes individually and place each of them in their corresponding position as accurately as we could. Fortunately, the three-dimensional Rhino digital models were not compulsory for the fabrication process, as we only needed to draw the two-dimensional cut-outs for perspex sheets for laser-cutting.

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Reading Response Wk 6 Architecture in the Digital Age - Design + Manufacturing/ Branko Kolarevic, Spon Press, London c2003 Kolarevic talks about different methods to which a 3-dimensional object can be constructed. This includes: two-dimensional fabrication, where a flat two-dimensional sheet is cut using a laser or other method (shown in figure 1). We found it weird that water can be more potent to cutting thicker materials than a laser due to its high pressure. Another method is subtractive fabrication. This involves taking a large solid and chipping away like a sculpture. However, this is done through a computer programed drill. A problem with this method is that the machine can only cut from a birds-eye view, unless a 5-axis system is used. We used this method to cut out the pieces of the bone structure of our design. Once cut the pieces could be bent to create the desired shape. Lastly there is additive fabrication, where the object is built from the ground up. This includes 3d-printing and spray on techniques. This method can be time-consuming for large projects and requires a structure to be built up as well to create overhangs, wasting material.

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Kolarevic then talks about the construction process. He talks about how three-dimensional surfaces can be transformed to work with the digital design strategy’s. One method the creating a rib/bone structure to which the surface can bend around. Another is to transform the curved three-dimensional surface into a ruled surface made up of straight lines. We found that on their own these techniques can reduce the organic form of the surface, and a combination of them can create a better version of the desired object. We used the lines of a ruled surface as the wires of our design (shown in Figure 2). This allowed twists and a weirder form for our design. One useful tool in adding these wires in the design was grasshopper, which helped us break up and link the pieces. Another aspect of the assembly is the material used. This impacts the look of the final object as well as how heavy and strong it is. Recent introduction of malleable and formable materials has allowed these more ambitious shapes to take form. Due to the different chemical structure of these materials the colour can be manipulated to change the visual effects of the material. I found the section on how the strength of carbon nano-tubes will allow architecture to be able to produce even more creative designs quite interesting despite the current failings to make the material work (non-toxic).

Figure 1: Laser cutting in action (above)

Figure 2: Our design of using strings to form surface (below)


Reading applied to design How fabrication process and strategy effected our second skin project.

We used Rhino to model our design over a mesh of a person. Then the pieces we wanted could be transformed to work with a two-dimensional plane for laser cutting. Having a body mesh to work with means that we can model certain pieces such as the shoulder support more accurately, without having to take various measurements in real-life. The ability to laser cut pieces meant that we could trial different lengths and shapes of the pieces as well as different joining mechanisms, centre pieces and methods of connecting the string to the Perspex bones. The ability to model and quickly cut the pieces allowed us to test the different joints and allowed us to experiment with the string order and work out the best and fastest ways of assembling the overall design. We are very fortunate to have tools such as Rhino and Grasshopper which work interchangeably in our project, allowing us to fully visualize how the strings would look from every angle, without having to go through the whole threading process (shown on the right). This not only saved us huge amount of time, but also allowed us to quickly evaluate which design was the most desirable and whether they are achievable in real-life. As we progressed through fabricating basic pieces from simple triangular pieces to more complex pieces with multiple curves, we learnt more and more about the strengths and weaknesses of the tools at our disposal. While instruments such as Laser Cutter can be very flexible, allowing us to cut almost every possible shapes out of perspex, there is also an inherent limitation, which is that, if the curves of the design are too close to each other, the laser beam could possibly melt the region in between.

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Reading Response Wk 7 Digital Fabrications: architectural + material techniques/ Lisa Iwamoto. New York: Princeton Architectural Press c2009 We found the shift from Cartesian geometry to describe a surface to curvilinear system quite interesting. This involved how standard geometries can be transformed from (x,y,z) to the vectors U and V to better form and describe new systems. These new and alien geometries have become available for use due to the use of digital design tools, which have a mathematical basis that allows the creation of smooth curves that can cover a desired space. It is fascinating in the reading to see how this use of digital design tools has transformed objects to be weirder in an abstract way but retain the flow and smoothness of design like the Mafoomby, which the inside is smooth and free flowing, but the geometries would be much hard to accomplish by hand. The Perspex pieces of our design were created by curve tools in Rhino, which allowed us to smoothly define their shape, which would have been much harder via conventional means. Like in the reading, these pieces were not our starting point, but developed through the design process as well as their purpose and positions. Following this, we moved our design from more conventional perfectly circular pieces to ones that were non-linear (quadratic or higher basis for their curves). This meant our design was less flat and became blobby and angular. Mafoombey Acoustic Space By Finnish architecture students Martti Kalliala and Esa Ruskeepää, with architect, Martin Lukasczyk (2005)

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Reading applied to design Implication of digital fabrication on our design, after referencing from lectures and readings. Like the Digital Weave in the reading, our design required exact parts. We needed to cut pieces that fitted the shape we wanted and be easily constructed. Ours differed in that we needed our pieces to be joined in different ways as we explored different forms and impacts on personal space.

How the perspex pieces join together through a pre-specified cut-out.

It is also through the digital design techniques that we were able to fit our indent for the string onto the pieces. These techniques meant we could bend and conform the repeated shape onto the edge of the piece, without flattening the edge to let the indent easily sit on it.

Transition from the old slot design to the new one

The relationship between how the laser cutter works and the Perspex also influenced our design. That we could just cut a line in the Perspex rather than cut off a piece to fit the string meant that we could attach the wire easily and in different ways.

While the old slot design was arguably easier to wire, it does have its a fatal design flaw, which is that the circular cut-outs are too close to each other and therefore the laser-cut job was rejected on arrival, due to the reason that the laser cutter’s extremely high-temperature beam would most likely melt the perspex between each slot. Furthermore, this design also has a low density of slots, which would not suffice the requirement we trying to achieve.

The wires were placed in a way so that they interfere with each other to change how the object behind them is viewed from different angles. The use of digital design software allowed us to simulate the connections between the wires, see the body from different angles, and explore different ways of achieving this affect.

The new design originated from a conversation with a technical support tutor who gave the ingenious suggestion of simply using the straight line cut-out from laser-cutter, which would provide just enough room for the white bead strings to fit through, but also greatly improve the density of the strings.

Old Slot Design

New Slot Design

53 (Both measurements are in millimeter.)


Prototype development

Complications arose with the previous prototpye due to the complexity of the individual structures which were made and the scope of what we were trying to achieve. There were concerns about the practicality and aesthetic quality. Previously, we were trying to create a model which would cover the entire upper body. As a result of the complications, we decided to scale down the model to only encompass one side of the body. Materials from the previous prototypes were used first and played around in order to get some inspiration on how to remodel it. We settled on a model which would rest on one shoulder as opposed to resting around the neck We looked back at our first prototype in Module 2 as an inspiration to create an elegant and flowing structure instead of the modular elements of before.

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Prototype optimisation

Perspex was used as the main material throughout our project. Our designs always made up off various elements which varied in size but were also all fairly slim in proportions. Thus, we were able to fit all elements plus some extras into one sheet when sending it in for fabrication. At times we pushed the limit by placing elements very close to one another to try to save space and was rejected once as our elements were less than 2mms apart. Spare elements were always created due to how often they would break under preassure. Some uniformity was also acheived with certain elements not just as an aesthetic descision but also a practical solution. Proportions, scale and measurement could be easily resolved among pieces which had certain similarities in their shape and design.

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Prototype optimisation

The key element in our model is the usage of strings which span across the entire structure to create an interesting volume which would also serve as the second skin. The bone structure had to also be optimised in order to find out what kind of shape would allow for interesting volumes. Due to this, experimentation with the wiring was a main part of the design process. We experimented with different densities, heights, curvatures and patterns with which to wire. The result is a structure which combines all of these elements. Strings span to and fro from different elevations and planes and some of these sequences are inverted to create a more interesting shape. A few changes to the bone structure was also made to facilitate this. Certain elements which were deemed to have too‘sharp’ an angle. They were redesigned into a more curvy, long and elegant member. This was done in order as these characteristics would result in a membrane with a more consistent and elegant.curve.

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The implementation of such elements was generally sucessful in achieving desired effects and thus, more elements were created to be attached to the structure. These elements varied in shape and size but all shared the same characteristics as stated before. Their implementation was used to help facilitate more complex wiring which would result in a a more interesting volume. Their placement on the existing bone structure was also used to try to cover any gaps or ‘dead ends’ which were part of the old design.

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Prototype optimisation

A key element of what makes our model work is how the bone elements bend in order to form curves. As a result, the thickness of the perspex and the shape of the elements themselves had to be reworked serveral times. The thickness of the perspex was reduced from 3mm to 2mm. While this did result in an increase in the number of broken pieces during the process, the bending effect which was achieved was a greater gain. Certain elements had to be reworked several times as there was always an issue and conflict between aesthetics and stability. Modules were slimmed and rounded out at the start in order to make them less conspicuous and flow better with the structure. However, this resulted in the edges of the elements being very prone to breakage. In the end, we reverted back to a flatter design but still kept the curved slimness. The shoulder piece also went through a similar redesign, with supports added to brace a much thinner structure. They were ultimately removed and changed as the supports weren’t useful and the element retains its original volume as it is the main supoorting structure for all elements.

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The wiring process is the most important part of the model. Thus, the slots in which to facilitate the wiring went through numerous design changes. We started out with three prototype for the slots in our orginal protoype. They consisted of holes, jagged edges and one which combined both. It was decided that jagged edges were not aesthetically pleasing and were very difficult to keep consistent on the model, so hole slots was chosen at this stage. In order to keep the holes less conspicous, they were significantly reduced in size and continued to be reduced as we moved on with the design. The final size was a hole which was 2mm in diameter. This allowed the hole to be small enough that it won’t be easily seen. However, another complication arose. The holes’ size and its quantity throughout the model made wiring a very tedious task and wires needed to be pulled fully through before we could move on to another hole. To solve this, holes with curved slots were designed to get rid of the need for threading. Strings could be slotted through andhoused in the hole and this would make the wiring process much faster. However, another complication arose. This new design took up much more space and there were less slots than the previous designs.This meant that we had to sacrifice some density in the string membrane. Thankfully a solution was found. Drawing a line on the Rhino template would allow the laser cutter to cut a slot which was just wide enough for a string to fit through. These thin line slots were thus used in the final design and much more slots could be placed on a single element.

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2nd Skin Final Design

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Our second skin structure aims to give off a non-intimidating feel. The user is able to be seen from a distance due to the translucency of the membrane but as a person comes closer, the membrane can be clearly seen and acts as a barrier against others. The soft curves of both the membrane and the bone structure seemingly blend together and also give a gentle look to not repulse others. However, it is also elongated at the shoulder point to prevent others from touching the user and keeping a distance, be it from the front or back. The structure also serves as a slight view obstructor as eye contact is a big issue with personal space. From certain angles, the user is slightly obstructed from view and others from the user.

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Fabrication Sequence

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Prepare the laser-cut template, send it to the FABLAB for cutting.

Thoroughly inspect all the parts and ensure that all the pieces are without defects.

Attempt to construct the frame from using bottomup approach. If any pieces break during construction, and there is no additional back-up pieces available, re-evaluate the current design and make improvement/refinement if possible and then start from step one again.

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Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Begin threading by using the white bead strings and strictly follow the pre-designed arrangement from Rhino/Grasshopper.

Conduct quality control, thoroughly investigate whether the strings are tightened well enough, and whether there is still room for improvement. If so, remove current wiring and re-attempt step 4.

Final product is ready for testing.

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Assembly Drawing Components Legend

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1

Main Shoulder Frame

x1

2

Triangular Joint Pieces

x3

3

Curved Members

x3

4

Long Curved Members

x2

5

Sharp Claw Members

x2

6

Shoulder Support

x1

7

Additional: 3mm Nut and Bolt for holding the bent pieces in place.


Assembly Instructions

Close-up of nut and bolt mechanism

Step 1 The main shoulder piece is fixed in position. Step 2 The three triangular joint pieces are attached. Step 3 The “curved members” and “long curved members” are carefully attached, with an attempt to minimise any fracture/cracks from developing in the perspex. Step 4 The “curved members” and “long curved members” are bent into their designated position on the main shoulder frame, then the 3mm bolt is used to secure five layers of perspex through the five 3mm holes, and the nut tightens everything in place.

Before Bending After Bending

(Details are shown in photos on the right.) Step 5 Attache the sharp claw members and shoulder support piece.

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SECOND SKIN - MULTILINEAR CONSTRUCTION

Right Hand Side

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Perspective


Front

Left Hand Side

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REFLECTION

ABSTRACT

Critical reflection on the overall design experience and process. This covers the overall progress on the parts which I enjoyed and what I would improve if I could do this project again.

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Reflection

I first heard about this subject from a friend who did it last year and he told me there was one lecture focused on photography, which I am enthusiastic about. However, as I stepped through the course, I started to think whether I have found a greater interest compared to my current field of study. Architectural design is fascinating in its own way. Compared to mathematical equations which often converge upon one numerical solution, design process is like the polar opposite, which itself branches out to infinitely many possibilities. It not only challenged the way I approached tasks, but also my capacity to present and deliver my ideas to peers and mentors who provided invaluable guidance throughout this subject.

Here I would like to thank our tutor, Amanda, who has been very supportive and kept pushing us forwards. Without her insistence, we would never have been able to create our final design. In addition, our guest critic, Chen, has also provided us with invaluable feedbacks based on our presentations and performance from Module 1 to 3. Simply by looking through the static imagery, it is hard to imagine how much we have pushed the Perspex frames, as it is literally on the verge of snapping. The dynamics of the model was finetuned countless times. After breaking almost all our previous prototypes, we were finally able to come across this current equilibrium, which strikes the balance of design aesthetics and physical limits of the Perspex material.

I was fortunate enough for being able to work with Alice, Chester and Nicholas, who brought in their own fields of expertise, ideas and provided me with the much-needed constructive criticisms. Despite the occasional disagreements upon our design and fabrication processes, I believe that we as a team, has worked rather efficiently and has achieved a design which I am proud of. If I somehow could undertake this project again, one part I would restructure is the way how I approached the fabrication sequence, especially the way I managed the time frames. There were a few times, when we were urgently in need of a working prototype, but we just didn’t have enough time to laser-cut the design. Even though we eventually caught up to the required pace, this was definitely not a pleasant experience.

The most enjoyable part for me was definitely the photography sessions, as it is extremely satisfying to take aesthetically pleasing shots of the models which we have spent many weeks designing and fabricating. Those non-pleasant times where arguments arose, and failures occurred, were all worth the time we spent. The efforts of the team came to fruition at this exact moment, when we set out to record the final model’s appearance and elegance in a way which can be preserved. Our ancestors could never have imagined how open-source software and methods of distributed manufacturing would become one of the main driving force behind our current economy and overall, our way of life. Without open-source software like Linux, which created an unanticipated

competition with software giants like Microsoft, technology probably would not have advanced so quickly. Above the large software layer, we have the digital design process which is now almost inseparable from the digital manufacturing process. Due to its highly compact and efficient workflow, it is now largely adapted by the likes of large corporations to individuals who are both looking to kick-start their new commercial/personal ideas. Rapid prototyping through the means of utilising CAD to come up with a basic first design, then building it within a few hours by 3D printing/lasercutting, is unimaginable from a few decades back. If the product does not turn out to be what we anticipated, we can simply change the design on computer and print out the next version. Through this rapid prototyping and versioning, product development time frame is greatly shortened, allowing us to devote more time in refining our quality ideas, and complete a project in Digital Design and Fabrication course within only 10 weeks. Moreover, this process also dramatically cuts the cost for prototyping and manufacturing, as we no longer need to gather huge amounts of raw materials and machinery if we want to prototype a physical model. Ultimately, this is all thanks to the Third Industrial Revolution, which built the foundation of the system for which we rely heavily on for designing, manufacturing, managing and distributing the products we use every day.

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APPENDIX


Credits Page

Drawings

Alice Shan Jiang Computation

Model Fabrication

Model Assembly

Chester Wong Photography

Writing X

Cover

Nicholas Collins

Graphic Design

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Steven Lee

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Bibliography

Asperl et al, 2007, Surfaces that can be built from paper / In H.Pottmann, A.Asperl,M.Hofer, A.Kilian (eds) Architectural Geometry, p534-561, Bentley Institute Press

Linear Construction No. 1, Naum Gabo 1942ñ3 | Tate. (2017). Tate. Retrieved 2 April 2017, from http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gabo- linear-construction-no-1-t00191

Cheng, R. 2008. Inside Rhinoceros 4 / Ron K.C. Cheng. Clifton Park, NY : Thomson/Delmar Learning, c2008.

Linear Construction No. 2, Naum Gabo 1970ñ1 | Tate. (2017). Tate. Retrieved 2 April 2017, from http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gabo- linear-construction-no-2-t01105

Enric Miralles,Carme Pinos, 1988/1991, “How to lay out a croissant”
El Croquis 49/50 Enric Miralles, Carme Pinos, En Construccion pp. 240-241 Fairs, M. (2017). Burnham Pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects | Dezeen. Dezeen. Retrieved 2 April 2017, from https://www.dezeen. com/2009/08/24/burnham-pavilion-by-zaha-hadid-architects-2/ Heath, A., Heath, D., & Jensen, A. (2000). 300 years of industrial design : function, form, technique, 1700- 2000 / Adrian Heath, Ditte Heath, Aage Lund Jensen.
New York : Watson-Guptill.

Marble, S, 2008. Building the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture/ Philip Bernstein, Peggy Deamer. Princeton Architectural Press. pp 38-42 Rifkin, J 2011, The third Industrial Revolution. Palgrave Macmillan.pp107-126 Scheurer, F. and Stehling, H. _2011_: Lost in Parameter Space? IAD: Architectural Design, Wiley, 81 _4_, July, pp. 70-79 Sommer, R. 1969. Personal space : the behavioral basis of design / Robert Sommer. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, c1969.A

Iwamoto, L., 2009, Digital fabrications: architectural and material techniques, Princeton Architectural Press, New York Kolarevic, B 2003, Architecture in the Digital Age - Design and Manufacturing /Branko Kolarevic. Spon Press, London

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Module 4 Draft 1  

Draft 1 of DDF Module 4.

Module 4 Draft 1  

Draft 1 of DDF Module 4.

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