Sunday, February 21, 2010

PechaKucha

 ___________________________________________________________

My story starts here and it is a cautionary tale of what
 can happen when one stops watching television. 
In 2004 I built this structure called Spiky. 
It has an internal floor and you can climb in and sit down.
___________________________________________________________

Modular Origami and papercraft models are an excellent way
to learn about the geometry of space and nature. 
However the designer must be wary.
Paper can deceive.
Real materials, and real structures in the real world
have thickness which cannot be ignored.
__________________________________________________________

Just as the hand is an extension of the mind,
so are tools extensions of the hand.
Today, access to a quality cnc router with a skilled operator
is one of the most powerful tools a design/builder can have.

___________________________________________________________

Here we see expressions in wood exploring joinery systems and
different types of architectural primitives and design elements.
Well designed complexity is the result of compositions of patterns
each of which can be the epitome of simplicity.

___________________________________________________________

For three years I engaged in full time commercial cnc millwork and furniture fabrication.
Fabricating the designs of others gave me some of 
the experience and skills I now have to effectively realize my own designs.
___________________________________________________________

My aesthetic emphasizes simplicity and ease of construction. 
I strive to create fixtures and spaces which engender
a sense of embrace and are drawn from living patterns
which are mentally healthy and domestically efficacious.

___________________________________________________________

Modern fabrication technology enables us
all to break with convention.
Here, instead of buying a christmas tree,
or buying a fake tree,
I've designed my own holiday scupltural icon.
And the beauty of this tree is that
it is it's own ornament.
___________________________________________________________

In my research of architectural and generative design systems 
I discovered a wonderful design pattern called the Zome;
a structure derived from polar zonohedra. 
Zomes are very modular and flexible such that 
the same panels can be recombined in a  
wonderful and bewildering variety of ways.

___________________________________________________________

The Zomicile is my first full scale shelter structure.
Composed of only five unique parts
it assembles using only a mallet.
It's amazingly strong and is designed to shed rain
with it's series of overlapping panels.
___________________________________________________________

My second Zome structure is a greenhouse for an urban garden.
Here we see the painted panel frames awaiting
the exterior grade plastic sheeting each pair will sandwich.
The color resonates with the purple onions growing in the garden.

___________________________________________________________

This Zome is  25' long, 10' wide and 10' tall.
The prefabricated parts were assembled in a single day by
a small group of friends with little or no construction experience.
This time every panel was tongue and grooved to it's neighbors.

___________________________________________________________

Now let's all gather round and discuss somethings I've learned. 
Beautiful well designed shelter
does not have to be a high end commodity. 
Aesthetics are important and are not purely subjective. 
And manageable complexity can be generated from simplicity.

___________________________________________________________

Before committing time and materials to a full scale project
it's almost alway worthwhile to test build small scale designs
of the various elements which will compose the final structure.
Here we see some of the latest manipulatives I've designed
to help me explore the design possibilities of this architectural pattern.

___________________________________________________________


In terms of simplicity, modularity and flexible design  
power Zomes are second to none.
What of the cube you might ask?  
Surely the cube is king. 
Well, my friend, the cube is a Zome.
It is the simplest Zome of all.
And therein lies it's power.

___________________________________________________________

This project explores the minimal structure of a Zome. 
I wanted to build a space which would  intrigue
the participant from near and far. 
To create the suggestion of a space
which brings the outside in and lets the inside out.
___________________________________________________________

Here are all the joinery elements.
This structure is completely homogeneous. 
A single tool cut all the parts. 
A single material was used in the fabrication. 
And it can be assembled by anyone  
with their bare hands.

___________________________________________________________

While not always obvious, a truism I've learned is that all systems are polyhedra.
And they divide the Universe into two parts
...the inside and the outside.
And good design creates effortless transitions between the two.

___________________________________________________________

This is called the Bodhisattva Zome.
And as that name indicates it implies an intention of compassion
and a desire to share the knowledge I’ve learned
and the skills I’ve gathered with all people to whom it would benefit.

___________________________________________________________

There's more to good structure
than modern sophisticated engineering.
There's more to good design
than clever and impressive tricks.
In all aspects of our creative endeavors...
Only the best is good enough.

___________________________________________________________

As you view this manifestation of my imagination
and all that it implies, you may note that it is seemingly
only half there and half not.
Is it fading away or coming into being?
Which of those two possibilities would you prefer it to be?



3 comments:

el hualle Chile said...

hi I write from Chile, I have been long interested is building this system, I could access information regarding, measurements, calculations, etc..
If you can help me get information would be very grateful, I'm very interested in introducing this concept in my country.
Patricio
my email address rainstickschile@hotmail.com

el hualle Chile said...

hi I write from Chile, I have been long interested is building this system, I could access information regarding, measurements, calculations, etc..
If you can help me get information would be very grateful, I'm very interested in introducing this concept in my country.

sonic spaceship said...

Rob, you've been a continued source of inspiration to me. If you ever want to expand your operation to the east coast, Asheville is ready and I'm all in. In the meantime, I'll keep spreading the zome love best I can. Peace