Monday, January 31, 2011
Image 2 - Since the steel cables are twisting, both the large rings and anchor rings will require a high level of flexibility as to their rotation. Once the final rotation is set, the components can be bolted and welded in place with minimal welding.
Image 3 - One of the anchor ring components in an exploded detail.
From what has been discussed in studio, it would appear that all students in the course will be in Las Vegas by Sunday, February 20th if not earlier. This would allow the class to entertain the prospect of visiting sites within the state that would be worthwhile, most notably the Grand Canyon. Though there are a range of ways to experience and arrive at the Grand Canyon from plane and helicopter from your hotel to simply driving half a day in the desert. The trip costs are already accounted for and have been relatively consistent with the estimates of the course outline however they did not include visits to the Grand Canyon or the Hoover Dam. Those interested may wish to bring the prospects of a visit in the next studio meeting.
The development at this point to create a platform that has multiple uses depending on the configuration has uncovered several interesting possiblities. Depending on the tide levels, the stairs can either be a cascading steps that flow into the water, or a amphitheatre with a stage on the non-moving platform. Modelling will begin to see how this will work in layers in 3D with a furthur progress report ready by tuesday.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I spent most of last week contemplating and researching (and over-thinking) for new design ideas, only to return to my initial concept of a deployable structure (serving primarily as rain protection.)
Sea anemones continue to be a source of 'inspiration', though I've been exploring species beyond worms – ‘Cinnamon’ the Coco Worm was limiting my design rather than inspiring it. Some stunning images that I couldn't help but share:
My initial proposal aimed at designing a structure over the Molson Amphitheater to serve as rain protection for outdoor concerts and events – it made sense to have for the design to be deployable as the a permanent structure would have completely changed the dynamic of the space. Each version of the design became more complex than the last until eventually I had a completely overwhelming and unnecessary structure over the space. I was unhappy with what I envisioned the end product as being and decided to continue to pursue a similar design but at a smaller scale. In reconsidering the design, the criteria for the final product are the following: practical, easily expandable/retractable (using a passive system), versatile (can be used in various locations), durable – and most notably, it is important that the final product add value to the space without completely taking over it.
The final product will require a few more revisions, but I am confident in the direction it’s headed.
These sketches are somewhat inaccurate after a late-night 'eureka' moment...I will post again in the next couple of days to give you a better sense of where I'm at.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Looking at both the form and structure, I have simultaneously been exploring the potential mechanics of the project, more specifically, how each of the steel members can come together to achieve the desired structure and response. In terms of the mechanics of the structure, I feel the most difficult part in regards to my design is finding the balance between static and dynamic components and how these two approaches can in fact work seamlessly together.
Friday, January 28, 2011
one of the biggest challenges in this design is the envelope because of the range of articulations in the structure. traditionally glass has always been the material choice for green houses till the debut of ETFE in the Eden project. i explored ETFE as a potential alternative to glass and found that its plastic properties accommodate the movement of the structures.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
One plant that I previously did have interest in but didn't really research in-depth was the Venus Fly Trap.
I initially didn't look much into this carnivorous plant because, the well-known concept of catching something and trapping prey seemed like such a very simple and redundant idea.
However; what did interest me the most about the Venus-Fly trap was the fact that the trapping mechanism is actually specialized in a certain way to avoid non-prey stimuli or prey that can easily escape from being too small and may not be beneficial towards the plant to digest. Two of the trigger hairs surrounding the lobe must be touched in succession within 20 seconds of each other or one hair must be touched twice in rapid succession, whereupon the lobes of the trap will snap shut in about 0.1 seconds. In the open, untripped state, the lobes of the plant are convex, but in the closed state, the lobes are concave due to the rapid flipping motion when closing the trap.
This then inspired an idea for a canopy that would act as a shading device during sunny days and could possibly collect rainwater. My initial idea was that this canopy could also have a water fountain, and when a certain amount of rainwater would be collected, the canopy would enclose and filter the water allowing it to be used for drinking water below and what not. This didn't seem to be a very successful idea as it would only be useful for when it rained (about only 10-15 days a month) and a certain volume also couldn't be controlled.
So the idea progressed into a structure that would still be a shading device during sunny days and transform into shelter/protection from the rain through a flipping mechanism in panels that would (when closed) be a protected canopy. The idea of sensitivity from the rain still has to be further developed but...
Here are some sketches ...still in the works
I feel more confident that I am finally moving in some sort of direction
..as I should be because, it's ...eeks... almost the 3rd week of 2nd semester! (technically the 4th)
I have yet to watch the TED video Vince just posted on plant behaviour, but I have a feeling that I will no doubt gain some interesting insight from it.
More to come... time to sleep ..it is now 2:45am...(did anyone else notice the time posting for this blog is completely wrong?)
After researching the likes of both Omar Khan and Achim Menges in attempt to merge the two concepts I was looking at before-pine cones and their ability to change in response to the environment and the natural structure of insect wings-I found that I was beginning to look at biomimicry as merely a representation of shape and structure rather than taking performance and natural response into consideration. In saying that, I have reverted back to my original concept of the pine cone which has the ability to passively respond to the environment-a more accurate interpretation in terms of biomimicy!
Taking from the natural performance of the pine cone responding to humidity, I am beginning to look at how individual components of a structure can rotate or change their position (passively) in response to the weather -increasing or decreasing permeability.
As of right now my design is looking toward somehow collecting rainwater /the weight of rainwater acting as a means of initiating the change in form.
Green house temperatures are regulated by conventional means such as forced air heating, radiators and radiant floor heating. Heat Balance in plants or animals is dependent on size and openings.I've been exploring two different approaches by changing the interior volume and no of openings. first i explored 3d Voronoi structures that morph and open based on the seasons. then i explored the mechanics of bone, ligaments and tendons mimicking the movement of my hand and the way it creates a space that changes in volume and openings.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The detail seen in image 1 is more rigid and as such, is less likely to twist due to moment. The detail in image 2 however is likely to be closer to the final design. This is due to the fact that the twisting of the steel cables will produce angles that will have to be dealt with by moving the anchor* rings in multiple directions.
* - I name these "anchor" rings since they anchor the spine to the steel cables. The resultant bridge is self supporting by virtue of the bunching and twisting of the cables, just as muscle tissue and plant cells are.