Architectural Association, Design Research Lab
director: Theodore SPYROPOULOS
critics: Philippe MOREL & Jose SANCHEZ.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Balls 2 the Wall (Alberto HERRERA SALAS, Nishanth PEETHALA, Chien-Shuo PAI, & Zhu KELE): MorphoLOGIC design team explored how highly articulated geometrical thinking, at a component/element level, can be exploited through computational processes that are available in architecture.
The project is about embedding certain informations within the component/element that may be required in future stages of architectural design and reviewing processes within existing fabrication and construction systems. Component thinking is not new in architecture, but the idea of a component itself was challenged.
The idea behind the project was to arrive at surfaces with designated curvature, with standardized 3-Dimensional (brick like) components that can fully perform as architectural and constructive elements. Considering these issues, an abstract geometric model that displayed properties of reconfiguration was selected and studied in order to arrive at components bearing lightness, curvature and reconfigurability as characteristics. The components have a certain geometric elegance of their own. They fit to each other perfectly by matching surfaces in their own geometry and are held together through a network of cables. An array of these components form completely closed surfaces and along with the designed soft joint, are able to achieve predesignated curvatures.
The construction process would eventually not require any scaffolding, and sufficiently complex and continuos spaces, that can change their curvature, are achieved by thinking of the architecture as being of a wholly discrete construct from the initial design stages. The final surfaces would gain their rigidity through their own curvature.
The components/bricks were then prototyped, using 3D Printing Technology by mimicking the industrial production scenario, where the components are an assemblage of standardized flat packed parts, but at a smaller scale. The result is a working prototype of the actual constructible architecture with a precision that cannot be easily achieved otherwise. Our main concern with this component its to tackle architectural problems in response to a specific environment. It is to create an architecture as dynamic and alien to be coherent with its surroundings without mayor changes but geometry configurations.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
Balls 2 the Wall: By associating Elementarism with current computational processes that are available, it requires a reviewing of the processes within existing fabrication and construction systems. Considering these issues, an abstract geometric model that displayed properties of reconfiguration was selected and studied in order to arrive at components bearing lightness and curvature as characteristics.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
Balls 2 the Wall: Reading: Stephen Wolfram, Philippe Morel, Denis Noble, Daniel Shiffman, Frei Otto, and Ben Woodard. Listening to: The XX, Incubus, Lenny Kravitz, and Rhinoceros
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
Balls 2 the Wall: Reiser+Umemoto , Skylar Tibbits, Achim Menges, and Cecil Balmond.
Additional credits and links:
Peope Who helped us during the final presentation: Ron Savio Chua , Maria Andrea Diaz , Xiaoyu Zhang, Yue Pei, Ashwin Shah, Gilles Retsin, and Manuel Jimenez Garcia.