Convoluted Inferences octubre 5, 2011Posted by christian saucedo in Technology research in surfaces.
Tags: T. research - Responsive surface, Technology research
Desarrollo tecnológico. superficie reactiva
Autor. Co-de-iT + Mirco Bianchini and Alessandro Zomparelli
Investigación y desarrollo. Co-de-iT
The eye is, in itself, a poor organ for vision: while our peripheral vision feeds our brain with a general but blurred image, our ability to perceive the details is limited to the narrow fovea (the only part of the retina that permits 100% visual acuity) in the eye’s retina. Vision is then a matter of unconscious inferences: making assumptions and conclusions from incomplete data, based on previous experiences.
Thriving on these defaults, the installation works on a varying range of perceptive and affective scales: the convolutions of the overall shape, generated from the simulated material behavior, cause an inferential reaction on the observer by showing an incomplete set of information about the general shape itself, which contours furthermore vibrate for the complexity of the component. This inference and the inability to perceive the details trigger an atractive process, but the complexity of the component detail can be appreciated only at a scale where the perception of the whole is lost; rolling backwards, it becomes clear that the effect of the whole is more than just the sum of the constituent parts.
The installation doesn’t embed a specific meaning or direct/indirect intentional metaphor about what has to be discovered or the discovery as a process, rather it is an experiment (or proof of concept) on how morphology, organization, material systems and patterns have the ability to trigger dynamic behavioral effects and interaction in space and time. Complexity is engaged on the level of articulating excess and exuberance as systems where form, space, material and ornament create an intricate elegance on a perceptual scale gradient.
Working on a strict budget and time constraint, our goal was to push the installation’s complexity as a result of aggregation and mutual relation of simple shapes, starting from the elementary geometric unit for structural resistance: the triangle. Our exploration proceeded in parallel experimenting simultaneously with components morphologies that were able to embed structure, space and ornament in a single element as well as overall organizations that could take care of structural, economic and perceptive issues solved through morphological response in order to maintain a readable ordering principle while still giving us margins and buffers that allowed us to manoeuvre the desired gradients of complexity as well as to verify the system’s effects and affects.
On a purely technical standpoint, the installation design has followed 3 steps:
* mesh subdivision (Grasshopper + Weaverbird): the general surface is generated from a starting mesh triangle which is then subdivided through Catmull-Clark algorithm, culling out 3 faces in order to generate the convolutions;
* mesh relaxation through cloth simulation (Blender): the relaxed convoluted mesh simulates closely enough the cloth stress condition (traction only, no compression, inflexion or torsion), an important prerequisite that allowed us to use lightweight flexible material such as natural polypropylene 0.5 mm thick;
* component proliferation (Grasshopper + custom scripted components): as a result of the Catmull-Clark subdivision, all mesh faces are quadrangular. This condition was exploited by triangulating the mesh and choosing triangles in an alternate pattern: this strategy maintains structural integrity (all remaining triangles are connected) while using half of the surface area. In order to increase complexity and enrich the range of effects, components have a gradient variation in height according to their horizontal condition: the more they approach the horizontal condition, the higher and more developed they become. Each component, realized through laser cut from polypropylene flat sheets, has 3 radial “petals” with variable number of cuts and curve tangency according to the individual morphology and the height gradient, embedding the necessary cuts for assembly. All components are assembled using plastic ties.
The overall assembled structure is then hung on a plywood custom laser cut support. Here’s some data facts: