First I must thank Cardnetics for providing the template file I used on Thingiverse. Here is the link to the file. Second I would like to ramble if I may, on what I am thinking. The following images and videos should not inform the reader/viewer about the form this will take but it is merely a stab at working with a mechanism and at making something. The design process for me starts with a hunch. I then think/sketch/draw possible ways of giving these hunches a physical form. The shape it takes over time will evolve to meet the parameters required by function, cost, and need to full fill the desired intent.
Imagine a building that reacts to the movement of people. Imagine a building that responds to the elements of weather. Imagine you are sitting at a restaurant and you are there with your significant other. The lights are dim. The candle warmly caresses skins and brightens shimmering eyes upon you. All seems perfect except for the rowdy group a few tables down. You can hear their laughter, you can hear their banter, and you can’t hear your significant other. After a few bites in silence you decide you will leave very soon. However from the corner of your eye you see something happen. You see the space around you shifting ever so slightly. The wall panels and ceilings are adjusting and moving! And that awful banter is no longer over powering your thoughts. Now, once more, the night is about you and your significant other enjoying each other, the food, the place.
I am interested in an architecture that is not static, but is a dynamic “living system” that improves upon the lives of people whether it be through the experience of the space or through its physical improvement of the place.
I am also fascinated in exploring how tools like grasshopper, firefly and rhino can be used to improve not just the design of architectural systems but also the performance of these as they respond to environmental/user needs. My end goal is to create an architecture that is responsive, that can alter its form in response to changing conditions.
The exercise below, though not implementing the use of the tools mentioned above, investigates simple movements and the effects of arraying these movements. My assumptions to scale up in numbers fell short as I failed to consider the proximity of the independent units. I tried to work around these by reducing the number of the array but again came upon some additional issues with the choice of materials as you can see in the videos and notes down below.
The first attempt was exactly per Cardnetics template. I wanted to see for myself how the parts interlinked together to create a paper shutter or as they call it an iris. I am fascinated by the way camera leaf shutters work and would love to see an array of these that control how much light filters into a space much like Jean Nouvel’s L’Institut du Monde Arabe.
Then I tried to make an array of four. I started by replicating the parts of the template and adjusting as needed to create one uniform piece with four fully operating paper shutters. Here are all the parts fresh out of the laser cutter and ready to be folded and assembled.
I think it is at this point in the assembly process that I realized that the array would not work. I needed to provide each paper shutter more space in between each.
I decided however to go ahead and finish assembling and see if some of it would move anyhow… Yes, sometimes I can be a little optimistic.
I cut the array of 4 in half and made 2 arrays of 2.
This version manages to move the shutters in one direction only. The thread is too weak and malleable.
Sadly my initial assumption that the rod would allow me to both pull and push the shutter open failed to a certain extent. The rod is inflexible and bends the paper. I think the next version of this will have to include both a fixed end and an unfixed end that moves/slips along in order to get this to move the way I want it to.
I’m looking forward to creating another version that addresses the proportional issue and looks into the attachments that control multiple shutters. Also there are other type of shutter mechanism. I’d like to take a stab at one of these.