MY ROLE: Design Development, Fabrication Management
CLIENT: Dallas Arboretum Children's Garden
Completion - August, 2015
This entry structure commissioned by the Dallas Arboretum offered up an amazing opportunity to explore the nature of the production process and construction documentation - that is - the translation of a design from conception through realization. Given the complex form, as well as the digital nature of it's existence and development, traditional fabrication methods had to be paired with elements of digital fabrication and production - elements that are received with some friction by much of the current industry. Additionally, the process requires the 'designer' to learn and understand the tolerances, capabilities, and limitations of the processes of construction and workflow.
It should be noted that the form itself is not where the parametric adventure begins. Rather, it is in the output of data from the model directly to a digital tool. The data, in the case of Leaf, contains information transcribed directly onto the parts - information that will allow a human at the other end to assemble the whole without referring to annotated drawings. The drawings provided are actually maps - keys to where the precise and self-contained part goes, in relation to the whole.
This is a highly idealized way of describing the actual process. Reality required numerous as-built drawings, micro-adjustments to the digital model, and custom parts. Annotated plans were key to assembling the superstructure and will be crucial to the site installation. Still, the small success of streamlining aspects of the process, and demonstrating the human efficiency that is achievable through thoughtful implementation of technology merits no small amount of pride.
Exploded axonometric of Leaf Canopy components
3D Print of Leaf Canopy
1/4" Steel Super-structure.
As-built drawings - art imitating life imitating art.
Cell geometry unrolled and exported for the Laser Cutter.
14 gauge galvanneal steel cells - hot off the laser.
14 gauge Cells - folded to etched-on specifications.
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VACANCY: HOUSE FOR A WREN
MATERIAL: SAND-BLASTED CYPRESS
SIZE: 6" X 10"
DESIGN TEAM: Sydney Mainster, Travis Cook
MY ROLE: Project Manager, Fabricator
CLIENT: The University of Texas School of Architecture
The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture's COOP Material Resources Collection commissioned me in 2012 to install a folding partition in the MatLab Materials Library at UT Austin. The concept springs from 'element as signage'. The lettering, visible when the partition is in the banked position, affects complex geometries occurring on the faces of the partition in the deployed position. Rhino and Grasshopper are used to generate 2D geometries. Using a CNC router and a 120 degree V bit, the 2D geometry manifests in a complex play of resulting facets and interwoven textures, which reveal the material in the third dimension. Bamboo plywood sheets are used to construct the hollow core panels
DESIGN TEAM: Legge Lewis Legge (Murray Legge, FAIA, Deb Lewis, Andrea Legge), Travis Cook
MY ROLE: Project Manager, Fabricator
CLIENT: Waller Creek Conservancy
Waller Creek Conservancy hosted Creek Show Light Night 2014 in order to showcase the unique and under-utilized urban riparian landscape along Waller Creek in Austin, TX. Five local design teams, including Legge Lewis Legge, were asked to design and construct temporary, light-themed installations for the event, which attracted thousands of Austin visitors and residents to the spectacle of a transformed urban place.
The piece is constructed with Electro-luminescent Wire (EL Wire) and 22 gauge speaker wire, suspended on a grid shelf and weighted with bank sinkers. The first design task was to develop digital tools to output data about the form. Using Rhino 3D and Grasshopper, real-time data was output to Excel, which calculated lengths, amounts, and costs associated with various schemes. This allowed accurate budgetary considerations to inform the design.
The next design task was to generate full-scale templates that reduced dependency on traditional annotation and measurement. These templates allowed for continual organization and tracking of the various parts throughout the fabrication process. The tape measure was put away - every necessary piece of information existed on the work surface itself. Even with all this help from our friend technology, over 1,600 individual solders were made as the EL wire was spliced into the speaker wire, which is in-turn soldered to connectors at the main wiring banks on the shelf above.
The form responds to the numerous riparian typologies surrounding the site, and manifests as an eerie, glowing bridge, swaying and pulsing with the breezes that are concentrated within the narrow channel. The pure circular form of the arch flinches and distorts, all the while betraying it's compressional origins.