Project: Distortion was an intensive, international design/build collaboration between faculty and students at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. Over the course of the Spring 2010 semester, the team designed and build a mobile pavilion intended to operate as a social and spatial nexus for the Distortion Festival, an active celebration of rave music and culture held annually in Copenhagen.
Although I participated actively in the conceptual design phase of the project, along with all of the other students on both sides of the Atlantic, my primary role in the project emerged during the the build phase. For this I specifically applied parametric tools for, arraying and documenting the initial configuration and then for solving the geometric inputs for the customized structural system for the final configuration.
The workflow for the project saw the initial configuration established using a Grasshopper definition that I developed for the design team to array the modular cone set in plan using a series of guide surfaces to manage gradients over three parameters: length, size of aperture, and color.
Next, the geometry developed in this process was exported to Maya, where Anders Deleuran of CITA developed and executed a physics-based system that dynamically modeled the final configuration.
Then this final configuration was re-imported to Rhino, where I developed and applied another Grasshopper definition that solved the resulting geometries for the insertion of a structural “star” system that locked the triangulated cones into fixed hexagons, much like a distorted “Buckyball”.
These solved geometries were then parametrically arrayed into plan files for printing and operation as 1:1 templates for the construction of the steel elements.
Using these templates, thirteen unique steel “star” elements were hand tooled, welded, and lashed into the cone system.
The final pavilion was constructed at the university, then disassembled and reassembled at three different festival locations over a period of four days.
Student design team: Samantha Buell (DK), Marie Noel Chounard (DK), Galip Döken (DK), Dicki Lakha Lauth (DK), Cilian Magee (DK), Signe Kramer Mikkelsen (DK), Lucia Napuri (DK), Jonathan Roy (DK), Thea Rudnicki-Ulholm (DK), Mija B.S. Simonsen (DK), Lisa Uhlmann (DK), Kenneth Appleman (US), Chelsea Anderson (US), Nick Axel (US), Jonathon Botts (US), Sreoshy Banerjea (US), Caitlin Morris (US), Kieran Martin (US), Adam Patela (US), Heath Horn (US), Phillip Robinson (US), Charles Sonders (US), Dave Stasiuk (US), Erica Voss (US), Lisa Yue (US)