!LABnotes 2

The supporting frame was a system of simple plastic pipes corners and T-connectors.  The location of intermediate pipes and connections were parametrically determined to control and maintain the desired curvature and tension. Real-world construction typically requires prior knowledge and skills.  However by pre-numbering each tile, children were able to sequentially connect and assemble each piece in its required location.  To further assist our participants a large color-coded graphic layout was provided.
MATERIALS + ASSEMBLY   
 
Geometry Portal is an exploration in material performance.  The paper tent encompasses a 15’x15’x8’ volume and weighed less than 10 pounds. By employing tabs and folds, the card-stock paper achieved greater structural rigidity, as well as, generated the desired visual and structural performance over a long span.  
 
Cut from recycled paper sheets, tiles were further bent and folded to create a contiguous thin-shell skin.  These paper tiles were strategically perforated - smaller apertures were located at the lower areas of the curve.  Structurally this allowed the skin to have the greatest amount of material towards the base/ground for strength and stiffness and the least at the top which allowed curvature and flexibility. Each of the 190 unique tiles were based on an algorithm and laser-cut on a Trotec Speedy300 laser cutter.

   GEOMETRY PORTAL

Central to my belief in the architecture profession is the role of exploration, risk and craft - essentially "questions" and "potentiality". My passion for change, emerging technology and the environment means exploration is not only continual, it is necessary.

June A. Grant, Principal  
DIGITAL CRAFT + ASSEMBLY
Design Tools:  Grasshopper3D, Kangaroo, Rhino3d, Laser Cutter   

Focus: A framework and algorithm that simplifies assembly and proves contemporary design methods can be economically achieved. 

Result: A clear functional method requiring minimal skills. 


GEOMETRY PORTAL
Architecture: blink!LAB architecture
Fabrication: blink!LAB architecture

BUILD TEAM
June Grant, blink!LAB architecture
Aleeta Dene, P.E., Abhinanda Dilip, Theresa Curtis – Thornton Tomasetti SF

CONSTRUCTION DETAILS
Material $250
Design & Model – 20 hours

Installation - 7 hours

CNC Machine - Shopbot

Laser Cutter- Trotec

3d Printer - TypaA Machine

PROTOTYPING IN THE DESIGN STUDIO

Traditional design methods require pages of drawings handed over to shop fabricators for bid, followed by shop drawing review and approval and finally construction where yet still designers field questions though-out.  All of this increases the cost of a project and increases the chance of error. The flexibility to respond quickly on short notice truly reflects the positive benefits of Digital Craft and our ability to provide an economical and attractive bespoke solution. 

These events and self-directed projects allow exploration at a low cost but yield high returns on increased in-house expertise.  blink!LAB’s commitment to digital-craft is a direct lineage from the NASA Ames and GE projects where the digital design files were sent directly to the fabricator. During the GE project, there was only one intermediate step (shop drawing review) between design and fabrication.  Geometry Portal required no intermediate steps. Both the laser cutter and pipe form were numerically-controlled, increasing precision that is typically uncertain with traditionally built projects.

A DESIGN-BUILD PROJECT INTRODUCED DESIGN COMPLEXITY AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES TO A WIDER AUDIENCE. 

At a budget of less than $500, we created Geometry Portal for the Girls' Festival 2016 held in San Francisco.  Teaming with female engineers from ThorntonTomasetti, this simple paper and pole tent reflects the core constraints of the Fab!LAB. 

  1. REFLECT MULTIPLICITY
  2. EXPLORE MATERIALITY
  3. FOCUS ON CRAFTSMANSHIP 
  4. OPERATE IN PRODUCTIVE COLLABORATION 
  5. ARRIVE AT A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE

The !LAB is where we  DISCOVER, PLAN, BUILD, REVIEW, repeat.

    a  r  c  h  i  t  e  c  t  u  r  e

Organized by using a repetition of very simple rectangular and triangular shapes, the structure is built by hand.  One important goal, was that the final product should maintain a sense of elegance despite being made by young hands. 
 
Complexity and connection details should not detract from the end result.  This was important because we wanted to show that “hand-made” does not have to mean “under-considered”.  Eight half-inch plastic pipes skinned with paper tiles, it was critical that where the ends of pieces occurred, that these connections would be resolved. 
 
The desire was to create a piece with continuous reading.  Where the eye did not rest on one particular area, and that there was an element of continuous flow and continuous variation.