Carnegie Mellon University, Computational Design
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Madeline GANNON (MADLAB.CC): Reverberating Across the Divide reconnects digital and physical contexts through a custom chronomorphologic modeling environment.
The modeling interface uses a three phase workflow (3-D scanning, 3-D modeling, and 3-D printing) to enable a designer to craft intricate digital geometries around pre-existing physical contexts.
Chronomorphology—like its nineteenth-century counterpart chronophotography—is a composite recording of an object’s movement. Instead of a photograph, however, the recording medium here is a full three-dimensional model of the object — a virtual creature simulated within a digital environment. This virtual creature exists as a 3-D printable module; it is constructed as a closed mesh, with a spring skeleton that prevents self-intersections. The composite, chronomorphologic model (of the virtual creature over time) retains these printable properties at each time-step. Therefore, no matter how intricate or complex, the digital geometry will always be exported as a valid, 3-D printable mesh.
The chronomorphologic modeling environment facilitates the rapid generation of baroque and expressive spatial forms that both respond and expand on existing physical contexts. By mediating 3-D scanning and 3-D printing through the modeling environment, the designer has a streamlined workflow for oscillating between virtual and analog environments. This ease between digital design and physical production provides a framework for rapidly exploring how subtle changes in the virtual environment, physical environment, or designer’s gestures can create dynamic variation in the formal, material, and spatial qualities of a generated design.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
MG: Reverberating was inspired by chronophotography and the work of Étienne-Jules Marey and Edward Muybridge. And, of course, Greg Lynn’s Animate Form.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
MG: Reading: Illah Nourbakhsh, Robot Futures and Adam Greenfield, Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
MG: Any delightfully subversive work confronting ubiquitous technologies in public space—especially Addie Wagenknecht’s Asymmetric Love, Kyle McDonald’s People Staring at Computers, and Aram Bartholl’s Dead Drop Project.
Additional credits and links:
This project was supported in part by funding from the Carnegie Mellon University Frank-Ratchye Fund For Art @ the Frontier.
Photos courtesy Jakob Marsico.