As a fan of all things gravitational –we are in the business of defying gravity after all– I was really pleased to run down this studio project which comes out of the Architecture School at SUNY, Buffalo, NY.
The concept here is the development of a tile and tile fabricator (a mold) that is reactive to the capture/storage, or the shedding, of water. Think Egg Carton. A tile’s constructional deployment determines whether the parabola is convex and therefore shedding, or concave and collecting.
The mold uses two thick rubber sheets with a predefined void, or pocketed tile space, and three paired adjusting rods. The rods deflect the rubber into forms determined through computational analysis. The project appears to have progressed from analog, through Grasshopper, and onto prototyping and application conceptualization.
The parts most relavant to our Project #2 can be found three quarters of the way down the page at this link: SUNY Buffalo: Relational Geometries, 2009
Form to shed or collect.
Mold, tile, application.
Mold set for casting.
Though the form is computationally determined, it is manually set; painstakingly so with all-thread rod and nut adjustments. Nuts. I could see this being driven by servo motors and responding to a piece of software.
The final tiles. Note the T.I.G. edge condition.
Me? I’m wanting to explore some catenary-casting! Similar idea as this but less receptacle, more structural.