P4.T3+Final Presentation.More?

In the previous exploration we observed the spatial and form giving possibilities of the four bar linkage when combined with the servo motor.

The first test was a planar study of space and allows a reading in plan and in section along a flat plane. When we bring in ideas of tectonics and thickness, we can easily extrude up and allow our architectural judgement to build on from this point.

The second test was a study in multiple dimensions and axis. Attempting to assign material qualities was a challenge and therefore this direction seemed like a viable path to further explore.

I decided to move the project forward by testing the idea of the four bar linkage across varying planes through simple paper models.

Each of these tests brought about questions of stability, connection points, anchor points, material qualities, thickness, how it meets the ground etc. Potential for the use of colour, thickness and additional elements that extend out from the four bars themselves can be observed. Although a prototype could be developed exploring a solution for such possibilities, I have not been able to push this study to that extent.

Project 3 and 4 has been a sort of research project into robotics, motorised movement and the exploration of what this other world of mobility can offer architecture. No end result as such was assigned throughout the process and I feel that that has allowed me to really understand the possibilities of these tools. I have hit many walls and found myself immersed in frustrations over what architectural meaning this project presents but overall, it has been incredibly fun and challenging taking an alternative approach to architectural design.

Camp Co-Create

The result of my process throughout this project is a framework for participatory design, that can be filled in by the camp users to easily and intuitively create different kinds of spaces.

Through investigating quite varying themes and processes throughout these past months, I feel like in the end I ended up coming back to the idea of participation that I was initially interested in at the beginning of the semester.

A final addition that might be interesting to add to the project for my portfolio (or at least to think about) is what different tool kits could be given to the campers, and what effects the tools handed to the campers could have on the building process and configuration.

Visual ambiguity and perception

I’ve been exploring the topic by studying overlaps of generated geometry and membrane structures but looking at it as a play between more the rhythmic and ordered rather than organic or natural.

Relevant references:

I applied these studies to the configuration we worked out the last part of the semester and created a cloud-like configuration of modular tent-like structures, constructed with frame skeleton.

Site context

The path that is a spine for the camp is generated from a simple growth algorithm, that reads terrain heights and allows for the growth of points, where the endpoints are always growing towards the lowest parts of the island. This became clouds of squares and I overlaid an orthogonal thread that rambles around the main core, creating the main composition line, to place more modules along the walkway.

Minimal surfaces One of the qualities that whose figures have that grabbed my attention is the simplicity of the boundary and complexity of the surface that meanders between it. The elevation views are expressed by a simple configuration of one repeated arc. The perceptual ambiguity of overlapping shapes gives depth to the figure.

So – How do I create a base for my minimal surface? How do I do it, having a defined and regular shape?

Here came the idea of creating a defined shape from a repetitive pattern of arcs. As a base to generate the configuration I used Truchet code.

Studies above are showing, where from the pattern I extracted shape and gave it some depth by moving some modules horizontally, but the pattern is still readable from the front view and is still very simple on the side.

I was playing with the same configuration in different planes. Here I created a defined shape based on the generated pattern, by getting rid of some arcs and adding some orthogonal lines.

Project 4: Material Transactions

Architecture is how the person places herself in a space. 
Fashion is about how you place the object on the body.

Zaha Hadid

Many references are available for fashion that is inspired by the forms and techniques of architecture. 

This project is an exploration of the reverse- architecture that is inspired by the forms and techniques of fashion. 

Pattern drafting on a mannequin

Traditional pattern drafting techniques involve finding ‘nodes’ along a figure that have the maximum amount of curvature. Fabric is then draped starting at these nodes, and adding shaping techniques to fit the fabric to the form.

Pattern drafting methods
Fabric shaping techniques
Test models of sewing techniques to observe geometry
Darts in more detail

My next step is to apply this process to the site topography. The area I have chosen to work with is where the children’s sleeping quarters are, as it has a variety of scenarios related to the position of the path in the landscape.

Site plan

To do this, I have made a site model which I use as a sort of mannequin. The process involves laying fabric over the model, pushing it into the nodes and pinching darts and pleats into it to mould it to the site.

These fabric models can be unfolded into patterns, that can be repeated to create the same complex forms.

After these tests, I have re-introduced the path from project 3, and moved up to working at a larger scale.


The two scenarios create different spaces, and their ‘patterns’ can be aligned and joined to create an interesting transition.

Pattern pieces separated
Pattern pieces joined
Generating support structures from folds

Stage one of the project resulted in a simple yet bold infrastructural loop connecting various elements of the campsite. Stage two created spaces by moulding and fitting a canopy to the site.

The shelters (final)

I have continued on exploring the limitations and restrictions of the rigid-foldable tubes. The constructed prototype models showed that the sine curve would induce movement in two directions during contraction. In order to solve the problem within the limits of rationality, a decision was made to simplify into a curve, which implies movement in one direction. Additionally, I explored the positioning of the tubes and concluded that it is better to substitute the continuous repetition with dynamic shape-changing tubes as the slope descends. This gives a steeper curve that is smooth on the inside with increased structural integrity.

The units are positioned in a continuous chain around the defined areas, within limiting boundaries defined by the insolation conditions. The proposal demonstrates the foldability (contraction) of the shelters and their potential dismantling during winter.

During the final presentation, an observation was made that the shelters could remain attached during winter. Their structure would allow snow to fill the gaps (thermal bridges) and provide isolated volumes, which is favorable for winter conditions.

Contracting rigid-foldable tubes

After the introduction of converging planes, I extracted one of the resulting curves and reintroduced convergence, but this time the limiting element was a point. A few tests and adjustments resulted in selection of two ‘visually optimal’ shapes. Thinking of small-scale structures I envisioned them as tents for one person. The next step was to explore different approaches for inside-outside movement with a system of foldable elements that allow opening/closing.

The first proposal is based on the idea of curved rigid-foldable tubes. Their structure would allow movement along tracks (rails) as they contract/expand to open/close. At this point, they can be observed as cells that group to form a small organism – camp on the island.

Trying to connect the proposed structures with the context, I reflected on the site-selection task. I concluded that the identified pixels with irradiation above a threshold value are to be used as important factor for arranging the elements. Thinking of the approaches for correlating them, I lost track of the true meaning of these pixels and took a ‘wrong direction’ in the process.

The proposal included two ways of manipulating the pixels into shapes with MATLAB and Rhino. First is the Point Spread Function (PSF), which generates Gaussian distribution of the pixels in a selected region (see graphs that visualize the algorithm). This gives a certain degree of blurring which is determined by the x- and y-axes and an intensity factor. The second proposal uses a Motion Function (MF) that is adjusted for different directions and intensities. The outcomes in both cases are treated as height maps that translate to lines which define their shape. Then, one of the results is chosen to try the principle of curved rigid-foldable tubes.

Results from applied Point Spread Function on pixels at different scales (MATLAB+Rhino.Python) (increasing – top to bottom)
Results from applied Motion Function (MF) on pixels at different scales
(MATLAB+ Rhino.Python) (increasing – top to bottom)

At this point the obtained product contradicts with the idea of utilizing irradiated pixels for daily activities. The structures on top of them do not justify their purpose, so I will iterate back to the previous step by further developing the contracting-cells proposal.

Sketch to System in Three Scales

I have spent the past couple of weeks turning the sketches from last pinup into a buildable system.

First, I have roughly sketched out how to build the structure. The basic building system in my summer camp will consist of beams that are pre-cut to have holes, kerfing and a ”zip” on each end, as well as heavier cast bases where the zipped beams can interlock and have their shape defined. The beams are transported unbent to the site, and will then one by one be bent to fit their corresponding bases.

Zooming out a little bit, I have also looked at what kinds of spaces can be created using two curving beams with a third material, such as rope, fastened into the system. To narrow the study down I have focused only on parallel and perpendicular beams, but these different types of relations can be varied further by placing the beams at another angle to each other.

In order to investigate the spaces a bit more closely I also built 1:50 scale models of three of the spatial examples.

Lastly, I have begun to look at how to configure these different types of spaces into a larger campsite, using different kinds of spaces and different scales to create a varied structure for the camp visitors. 

Before the final presentation, I will also investigate how another ”shell” layer could be added on top of the tertiary layer of the structure. I’ll also work through the final configuration of the camp, to create a varied structure with some areas that are more designed by me (by adding a tertiary layer that instead of rope consists of a rigid material) and some areas where the camp users can design their own spaces using rope to ”weave” in the structure.

Material > Sketch > System

This part of the project started out with a small investigation into the bending capabilities of kerfed wooden strips.

After trying to laser cut a prototype of a combined zip-kerf system (and failing because of the laser cutter being too imprecise), I decided that I would instead continue the investigation by making quick models and sketches based on the behavior of the kerfed wood.

Drawing inspiration from the previous part of the project, where the structure was literally based on the movement of the swarming agents, I tried to make sketches that combined the expression of frozen movement with the properties of the kerfed wood.

Up until this point, this project has mainly focused on the wooden ”backbone” of the structure, with one element, wood. However, my aim is to add another element to the structure.

In the beginning of the semester, I was interested in exploring participatory design. During this recent phase of the project, I have started to think about my summer camp as a scout camp, which could include elements of DIY building, problem-solving and learning by doing. My thought right now is that the second part of the structure will be filled in by the camp-goers, and that the wooden structure can serve as a canvas or backbone for the creativity of the users.

From now on, I will focus on exploring in detail what types of spaces can be created with these systems, as well as how these spaces can be combined on a larger scale.