MATSYS

Posts Tagged ‘Self-Organization’

Catalyst Hexshell


Date: 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Size: 25′ x 30′ x 12′
Material: 1/8″ Corrugated Cardboard

Description: This project was the result of a 4-day workshop taught with Marc Swackhamer at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture in March 2012. The workshop explored the design and fabrication of shell structures. Inspired by the work of designers such as Guadi, Otto, and Isler, the workshop explored how digital tools could be used in the design, simulation, and fabrication of a contemporary thin-shell structure. The workshop was structured in the following way:

  • Day 1: Parametric Modeling Tutorials and Lecture on Thin-Shell Structures
  • Day 2: Design Competition among student teams
  • Day 3: Fabrication
  • Day 4: Assembly

Credits: The project could not have happened without the amazingly talented and dedicated students at the University of Minnesota who designed and built the structure using the tools that I provided them at the beginning of the workshop. Thanks to all of them:
Namdi Alexander, Daniel Aversa, Tia Bell, Alex Berger, Amy Ennen, Andrew Gardner, John Greene, Kelly Greiner, Artemis Hansen, David Horner, Jonathon Jacobs, Hwan Kim, Jenn McGinnity, Shona Mosites, Kristen Salkas, Stuart Shrimpton, Paul Treml, Katie Umenthum, Pablo Villamil.

Catalyst Hexshell from Andrew Kudless on Vimeo.

Construction drawing used by the team to divide the larger shell into smaller assemblies.

Catalyst Catenary Simulation from Andrew Kudless on Vimeo.

Catalyst Catenary Construction Time Lapse from Andrew Kudless on Vimeo.

P_Wall(2009)

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Year: 2009
Location: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Size: 45′ x 12′ x 1.5′

Description: P_Wall (2009) was commissioned by the SFMOMA Architecture and Design Curator Henry Urbach for the exhibition Sensate: Bodies and Design. The wall, part of a series started with P_Wall (2006), is an evolution of the earlier work exploring the self-organization of material under force. Using nylon fabric and wooden dowels as form-work, the weight of the liquid plaster slurry causes the fabric to sag, expand, and wrinkle.

From the exhibition text written by Henry Urbach:

Andrew Kudless’s P_Wall, commissioned by SFMOMA for this exhibition and its permanent collection, marks a radical reinvention of the gallery wall. Typically smooth, firm, regular and, by convention, “neutral,” the gallery wall has shed its secondary status to become a protagonist in the space it lines. Made of one hundred fifty cast plaster tiles — individually formed by pouring plaster over nylon stretched atop wooden dowels — the new wall possesses an unmistakable corporeal quality. Bulges and crevices; love handles and cleavage; folds, pockmarks, and creases: these are among the characteristics of human skin that come to the fore. Contemporary in its effort to capture dynamic forces in static form, P_Wall nonetheless has its origins in the experiments of earlier, 20th century architects including Antoní Gaudí and Miguel Fisác, both of whom investigated the potential of cast material to yield unique, sensual and, at times, bizarre shapes. P_Wall replaces the modern gallery wall with an unwieldy skin that can only approximate the fleshy enclosure that we, as human beings, inhabit throughout the course of our lives.

SFMoMA also produced a short video about the design and fabrication of the wall.

Credits: Andrew Kudless, Chad Carpenter, Dino Rossi, Dan Robb, Frances Lee, Dorothy Leigh Bell, Janiva Ellis, Ripon DeLeon, Ryan Chandler, Ben Golder, Colleen Paz

Weathering (P_Wall)

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Seed in the studio

Seed in the studio


Year: 2009
Location: Not in a gallery

Description: The process of weathering is often intentionally resisted (if not completely forgotten) in most contemporary design. This is a legacy of Modernism and its fascination with minimal, timeless, and antiseptic materials. David Leatherbarrow and Mohsen Mostafavi have done an excellent job of mining this ground through architectural history in their book On Weathering (1993). They reveal in this book a long tradition in the design world of working with the act of weathering in a way that enhances the design concept over time. Rather than design in a way that presents the Sisyphean task of negating the influence of time on a project, they document other strategies architects have taken to accept that their buildings will have a life of their own after the drawing board.

This concept has been hovering in the background during the evolution of P_Wall (2006 / 2009) over the last 3 years. When people see the wall, they seem to have an inherent desire to touch it. The hint of softness, the evocative forms, the fabric textures all draw people in, seducing them to feel its rounded curves and deep creases. After each time it has been exhibited, a certain patina can be seen on the pieces: fingerprints here and there, scuffs from handling, etc.

This projects explores the potential weathering of P_Wall. Beyond the simple marks of humans in a gallery environment, the wall is located outside, open to the elements. The undulating forms would collect dust, pollen, soot over time. Moss would take root in the subtle groves of the fabric texture. Birds and other creatures would make the holes their homes.

This is not an exercise in Romanticism. The goal is not to produce a picturesque image of the wall. Rather, there is something about the wall that craves to be touched, to be made unclean, to be used, worn, soiled. Throughout the fabrication of the tiles, spiders would constantly be found making the holes their traps. A fine layer of soot, plaster and saw dust seemed to be constantly attached to the forms. This project accepts these intrusions on the “pure” form and makes them apart of the design. No more resistance, P_Wall accepts the life of the world and changes with it.

SFMoMA June Update

Panels drying in the studio.

Panels drying in the studio.

Morning sun on the drying panels

Morning sun on the drying panels

The new hexagonal tile pattern.

The new hexagonal tile pattern.

A nice detail of the folding, twisting forms

A nice detail of the folding, twisting forms

Detail of a crease. Notice the surface texture left by the fabric form.

Detail of a crease. Notice the surface texture left by the fabric form.

Matsys was commissioned by SFMoMA to produce a wall installation for the upcoming exhibition Sensate: Bodies and Design. After many months of research and prototyping, production on the final wall began in early May and is nearly complete. At the moment, all of the panels have been cast and we are just waiting for them to fully dry. Check back soon for more images of the final installation.

Resonant Field

Overview of garden

Overview of garden

Garden section

Garden section

Day 001 of the garden installation: Mounds are hydroseeded

Day 001 of the garden installation: Mounds are hydroseeded

Day 365: The seed mounds have bloomed

Day 365: The seed mounds have bloomed

Garden Plan

Garden Plan

Construction Sequence

Construction Sequence

Year: 2008
Location: Jardins de Metis, Canada

Description: Resonant Field is a self-organizing incubator for local ecologies, and a super soil generator. The Field celebrates the life of the garden and it’s ecological context, seen and unseen, by appealing to all of the senses. It will evolve and change through time, providing a visceral panorama of experience. The Field embodies and celebrates the natural cycles of life and death, growth and decomposition.

The Field will be composed of the gardens pure constituent parts: soil, sand, manure, organic debris, etc. Each material constituent will be randomly piled in the allotted space, approximately 10m by 30m, varying in height from 1m to 3m. The field of material cones will then be hydro-seeded with a mix of native seeds, selected from the many ecologies that surround the site: woodland, meadow, grassland, and ripairian.

A sequence of varied compost core-areas will be established within the field of material piles, which will receive constant material generated by the Redford Garden campus and beyond. A gravel pathway system will connect the composting cores. Native species will become established, through a process of facilitated succession, and will express themselves according to the varied slopes and exposures of the Resonant Field. The field will become a generator of biomass and a seed bank. Fauna will feast on the nectar, seeds, and nuts which will be spread to revegetate the local ecologies with native species. Upon the projects completion, plant materials can be harvested and redistributed, and the entire garden will be mixed and piled to provide fertile substrate for future gardens and ecologies, extending it’s life in the form of future fruits and flowers.

Credits: Joint submission by Andrew Kudless (Matsys) and David Fletcher (Fletcher Studio)

S_Window

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Year: 2008
Location: London

Description: Matsys was asked to submit quick sketch designs for temporary window installation in a London department store. Several windows were considered with potential designs for each. The design for the corner window explored self-organizing branching structures through the use of elastic cords and free nodes. The structure’s shape would be determined by the location of the upper and lower constraints and the self-organization of the individual members.

The side window builds off of the research in the R_Screen and Sky Rail projects. The bone-like wall opens and closes view into the store according to the direction of travel on the sidewalk.

P_Wall(2006)

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Oblique View

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Front Elevation

Side View

Side View

Transformation of image into constraint points through the use of custom rhinoscript

Transformation of image into constraint points through the use of custom rhinoscript

Year: 2006
Location: Banvard Gallery, Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Size: 15′ x 9′ x 1′

Description: This project investigates the self-organization of two materials, plaster and elastic fabric, to produce evocative visual and acoustic effects. Inspired by the work of the Spanish architect Miguel Fisac and his experiments with flexible concrete formwork in the 1960-70s, p_wall attempts to continue this line of research and add to it the ability to generate larger and more differentiated patterns. Starting from an image, a cloud of points is generated based on the image’s grayscale values. These points are then used to mark the positions of dowels which constrain the elasticity in the fabric formwork. Plaster is then poured into the mould and the fabric expands under the weight of the plaster. The resultant plaster tile has a certain resonance with the body as it sags, expands, and stretches in its own relationship with gravity and structure. Assembled into a larger surface, a pattern emerges between the initial image’s grayscale tones and the shadows produced by the wall.

Team: Andrew Kudless and Ivan Vukcevich with Ryan Palider, Zak Snider, Austin Poe, Camie Vacha, Cassie Matthys, Christopher Friend, Nicholas Cesare, Anthony Rodriguez, Mark Wendell, Joel Burke, Brandon Hendrick, Chung-tzu Yeh, Doug Stechschultze, Gene Shevchenko, Kyu Chun, Nick Munoz, and Sabrina Sierawski, and Ronnie Parsons

Honeycomb Morphologies

Manifold Installation at the AA Projects Review 2004, Photo: Francis Ware

Manifold Installation at the AA Projects Review 2004, Photo: Francis Ware

Variable transparency of the wall

Variable transparency of the wall

Detail of Manifold

Detail of Manifold

Floor detail of Manifold Installation

Floor detail of Manifold Installation

Manifold Installation

Manifold Installation

Manifold Installation rendering

Manifold Installation rendering

Cut files for Manifold

Cut files for Manifold

Manifold Installation process

Manifold Installation process

Honeycomb prototypes

Honeycomb prototypes

Honeycomb Prototype detail

Honeycomb Prototype detail

Honeycomb Prototype exploring cell depth and curvature parametric link

Honeycomb Prototype exploring cell depth and curvature parametric link

Plaster form-finding model

Plaster form-finding model

Plaster form-finding model

Plaster form-finding model

Date: 2004
Location: London, UK
Description: This research was pursued as part of a MA dissertation in Emergent Technologies and Design at the Architectural Association. The central aim of the research is the development of a material system with a high degree of integration between its design and performance. This integration is inherent to natural material systems for they have been developed through evolutionary means which intricately tie together the form, growth, and behavior of the organism. In industrial material systems, the level of integration is far lower resulting in wide and potentially problematic gaps between its means of production, its geometric and material definition, and its environmental performance. This research explores integration strategies for a particular industrially produced material system for use in architectural applications.
This research develops a honeycomb system that is able to adapt to diverse performance requirements through the modulation of the system’s inherent geometric and material parameters while remaining within the limits of available production technologies. The Honeycomb Morphologies Project is based on the desire to form an integrated and generative design strategy using a biomimetic approach to architectural design and fabrication.
The system developed in this research presents an open framework through which the designer can work, enabling a more integral relationship between the various conflicting and overlapping issues in the development of an architectural project. The research represents a tool, waiting to be actively used with specific project data and embedded in a built artifact.
The Manifold installation was a large scale prototype constructed for the AA 2004 Projects Review. The installation explored the research developed in the Honeycomb Morphologies Project and extended it to a more architectural scale.
Credits: Andrew Kudless with help from Jayendra Sha, Nikolaos Stathopoulos, Giorgos Kailis, Matthew Johnson, Ranidia Lemon, Muchuan Xu, Grace Li, Scott Cahill, and Wongpat Suetrong.