[Course] Dynamic Fields | Responsive Architecture
title] Windmapper 1.0
[Objective] Generating complexity based on physical interaction between a simple geometry and a dynamic field
[Function] Physical installation that visually maps different intensities of air pressure
[Materials] Balsa wood
[Technology] Rhinoceros + Grasshopper + Low tech fabrication
[Team] Raya Ani, Amr Ezzeldin, Ioana Georgescu, Andrei Kiss, Yannis Mataillet, Zayad Motlib, Sarah Safoui, Alexander Walzer
The whole development process of this project was informed from step one with constraints regarding the nature of the physical world in terms of material and interaction that we had at our disposal. We believe that the embryogenesis and further development of our proposed organism has its roots in the few possible ways a sheet of paper can interact under certain circumstances with a dynamic field. When we say circumstances we address the issues of possible geometries and techniques that one can use in a given material in order to establish a dynamic interaction with a given field of intensity. In this case the field was the wind and the material a simple sheet of paper. We were eager to understand what were the extensive properties of this material that arise as a response to an intensive field and also how this quantifiable parameters can affect the outcome of a simple geometry. Although digital computational techniques have their meaning and purpose in searching rich possible spaces that offer an array of solutions ( or as DeLanda citing Deleuze puts it multiplicities) they cannot substitute the research with physical experiments that have already been done using this material. Paper has a certain expressivity. That’s why we looked from the beginning at possible future states of development when using a certain material with a certain technique and geometry. And because we were assigned in the geometry group at the beginning of the workshop we looked at possible ways of generating geometry by using simple techniques in this material. To be more precise cutting sand folding. Basically we used a reverse engineering approach by looking at possible final results in order to understand the complexity of this material. We developed a series of possible states using only cutting and folding in order to understand the geometry that generates this complexity. We learned from our physical models and simplified them to a single abstraction - the paper triangle. This reverse engineering technique provided knowledge by deconstructing the operations that the final result was already embedded with. A specific feature of a paper triangle and the first parameter that would affect our project up till the end is its flexibility based on the elastic behavior of the thin piece of paper.(now we can have the slides with the possible behaviors of a flexible triangle). We saw that the flexibility in a sheet of paper is related to its thickness and we developed models in different thickness with different responsive behaviors to the dynamic field. The paper models that we developed in small scale informed the next phase that meant changing the material as paper losses its responsive elastic behavior after a certain thickness. We changed the material for balsa wood and although it was a natural choice we later understood that basically paper is based on wood and they both have elastic behavior embedded in them that activates under intensive fields. We used balsa models at different scales in the interaction with the wind and we learned that as we expand the model we need to change the section of the vertical elements so that the system keeps its equilibrium in a responsive behavior. Although we weren't looking at many parameters the system was already EXPRESSING different types of behaviors. By difference and repetition the system responds in a adaptive manner in the interaction with the wind.
The goal of this project was to understand how complexity is generated based on the physical interaction of a simple geometry with a dynamic field. We call this simplexity.
Flexible modulated elastic structure made out of balsa wood.
Simple geometry based on a triangle module that generates complexity through the elastic behaviour of the whole system in the interaction process.
Trying the cups together with a flexible material generates a moldable field that works with the fan and adapts to its conditions constantly. It directs the wind in small fields still, while changing its shape according the environment.
Paper, balsa wood, rubber bands, tape