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FORMAKERS will take advantage of the "digital fabrication REvolution". We publish projects of urban design/ architectural research/ fashion design/ 3d print/ parametric design / architecture model /photography and much more.FORMAKERS invites architects, designers, artists, students, scientists and individuals of all backgrounds to explore, research and investigate new design paradigms and urban visions.







22JAN 2012

Polymorphic kinetic installation / Columbia University

Posted in University / Research - Columbia University by * FORMAKERS | Tags: Columbia University, Parametric

Polymorphic is a kinetic installation utilizing an innovative design and engineering solution inspired by the simple kinetic action of a see-saw and the reverberating motion of a Slinky. The design is comprised of a double-sided bench which transforms through a series of 119 unique and interconnected sections into a chaise lounge and finally an interactive balance board.

© Columbia University
These sections are connected via an inventive pivot and bolt system which allows the vertical movement of one section to be picked up by others down the line. Together, this motion allows the installation to transform from a series of leveled sections into an undulating form activated through interaction with its occupants.

© Columbia University
While the overall form of the bench is realized as a continuous landscape, each seating condition was designed according to existing ergonomic profiles in order to maximize comfort and functionality. This is further realized by allowing the tolerance of its motion to conform to the postures of the occupants using simply their weight as a point of activation for the movement of the sections.

© Columbia University
Furthermore, a series of internal notches linked together by elastic bands and reinforced by couplings located on the central pivot rods prevent lateral movement and ensures safety during motion. At its core, the design of the installation is not only an inventive solution to a design idea, but also a test of the limits and capabilities of digital fabrication and its role in advancing architectural and industrial design practices.

© Columbia University
While the installation had a designated scale and dimension, the developed system has the ability to grow much larger and wider depending on the availability of resources and materials. The form of the design can likewise be readily adjusted to suit the conditions and contextual requirements of various spaces and environments.

© Columbia University
The scalability of the joint system and design together creates a truly parametric system in which its use is not only for aesthetics, but for construction, functionality, and comfort as well. The bench reacts to pressure exerted by the occupant.

© Columbia University
Each of the 119 sections is constructed from 8 segments, totalling 928 unique pieces. Design With an intent to be a truly interactive design, Polymorphic's transforming shape consists of six programs and an occupiable interior.

© Columbia University
These functions allow for new means of interaction, breaking away from the typical uses of a "bench". From the cave to the surfboard, users are encouraged to sit, lounge, climb, jump, rock, or push the installation.

© Columbia University
The movement of each section transfers to its adjacent sections, allowing a fluid motion. Two simple connections not only provide the stability of the bench, but moderate the movement of each individual section as it reacts to applied forces.

© Columbia University
The first is a sliding bolt connection, which acts as a restraint between sections, controlling the displacement allowed to be carried over from adjacent sections. The second is an elastic connection, which is a typical rubber band that gives the bench its "springy" quality while providing lateral stability to the installation as a whole.

© Columbia University
Production The design of Polymorphic was inherently sustainable, due to the financial constraint of a $1000 budget. The design was broken down into small and linear pieces that maximized the quantity fit on a sheet of plywood.

© Columbia University
In total, the entire installation only used 18 sheets of plywood, which were utilized at over 90% efficiency. Unlike the typical adaptation of a scripting component to generate design, Polymorphic uses scripting mainly as a method of production.

© Columbia University
The automated process serves as a transitional tool from digital space to the physical realm. After the design was completed, the 3D model was used as the input to generate the 928 pieces necessary for construction.

© Columbia University
The Grasshopper script was responsible for printing not only the contour of the pieces, but all of the 3 corresponding types of joints, as well as a mill-ready labeling system. This process greatly increased production efficiency, as it was able to accurately output the building blocks of the design.

© Columbia University
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Status:
Completed






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