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Geode Pod

In collaboration with design heroes of mine Cinimod Studio we developed a design for a recording studio and hideaway.  Crystalline interior surfaces recreate an anechoic chamber whilst a single light source highlights the cracks between the faceted exterior faces.

Calling all eccentric landowners - we would love to see this hideaway realised in the right setting – give us a call.

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Structural Awards 2013

The Kreod Pavilion has been nominated by the Institute of Structural Engineers for excellence in engineering design of a project under £2 million.

Ceremony next week.  Fingers crossed.


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Fitzrovia chalkboard

The RCD team recently helped out on a great little installation for the London Festival of Architecture 2013.

Using the same techniques as the TRADA pavilion (and the exact same hinges), the Ramboll team created perhaps the first ever chalkboard you can walk in and draw from the inside.

Team led by Yanchee Lau and Chris Papanastasiou.


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Prototyping Architecture

Stephen Melville and I spoke at the Prototyping Architecture conference last week with our talk “Searching for Innovation and Elegance in Complex Forms”.

Ebook of all the papers can be found here.

Also presented (along with John Harding) a talk entitled “Finding Form: Embedding materiality in Computational Design” at the Materials, Tectonics and Structures Colloquium at the University of Nottingham School of Architecture.

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Planar panels

Planar re-meshing of high resolution mesh from Harri Lewis on Vimeo.

Video of Grasshopper implementation of Cutler and Whitings planar remeshing algorithm.

First we choose the number of faces required, then the mesh is broken down into that many clusters of faces. The clusters can be defined using Euclidian distance or local curvature. Planes are then created at each cluster and intersected with the neighbouring planes (which we know from the cluster connectivity information). Finally, corrections are made if the adjacency of the neighbouring clusters is not the same as the adjacency of the planar mesh.

The resulting tri-valent mesh is the closest approximation of the original mesh and can be easily fabricated with planar materials such as plywood, glass, sheet metal or cardboard.

This was used in the development of the TRADA pavilion.

I’m interested in using the software and techniques from the TRADA pavilion to create a structural frame to support sculpture, create internal meeting room pods, pop-up venues and large scale domes.

The forms are structurally efficient as they maintain the advantages of doubly curved surfaces.

The tri-valent mesh means connections between panels may be “pinned” as shown by the use of hinges in the TRADA pavilion.

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Scale models

Almost any form can be 3d printed – all too often this means scale models of completely unbuildable structures.

Any form can be rendered – this means architectural end of year shows often resemble sci-fi film concept art.

There is a saying within the interaction/installation design community – “realtime or it doesn’t count”. Essentially, whatever cool stuff you have programmed is irrelevant unless it can be interacted with.

I sometimes have students asking for advice about computational design within engineering and architecture, I’m going to start saying – “you can build it or it doesn’t count”.

A good way to prove this is a scale model – no 3d printing allowed. Here are some recent laser cut experiments.

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Traversing digital matter states to fill irregular volumes

I thought it was about time I uploaded my thesis I completed as part of my MPhil in Digital Architectonics at the University of Bath.

I’d like to re-iterate my thanks to:
My supervisors, Paul Richens and Paul Shepherd
Adrian Bowyer and Chris Williams of the University of Bath
Tom Foley, Duncan Horswill, Stephen Melville and John Harding of Ramboll Computational Design
Jakob Lange of BIG architects

Since completing the project I have met with Mero, who believe that, with their digital fabrication systems, a complex volume filling space frame would not be significantly more expensive than a standard arrangement. This is very exciting and we are planning to develop a proof of concept scale model.


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Belvedere (RED) sculpture

I’ve just returned from working with the brilliant Loop.pH in New York.

85 carbon fibre rods with LEDs went up, looked great and provided a beautiful backdrop to a Chromeo DJ set.

The structure provided a number of interesting challenges. Most significantly – gaining an understanding of the behaviour of highly deformed rods and creating a temporary structure that could resist the high winds loads required by the NYC engineers.

More info here.

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TRADA Pavilion Time-Lapse

Giraffe Pavilion from TRADA on Vimeo.

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