Saturday, December 19, 2009

final presentation day

After a 24 hour push to complete the assignment, study for a structures exam, complete studio work too, Team Slime pulled it together. We were able to create and finish (almost) everything we set out to create, whether that is a "hospital on acid" or a piano-key finger thing, or a piece of art, it was done. I think we all had our own interpretations of what this project became. For me, my hope for the final project was to create something that spoke of my architectural interests. In this regards, the final project definitely carried out some of these endeavors, it had a beautiful spatial quality about itself, which I don't think anyone really expected. The overall form provided motion and intrigue. Unfortunately, the motors purchased were not strong enough or rather provide enough torque to push the acrylic sheets, therefore the project failed due to the lack of glowing algae. With no way to agitate the algae, there was no way to get light. Bummer!

In all, the group worked fairly well with one another. In the beginning we worked great, but as the project progressed, the stress of school and outside "shit" started taking precedent over the project. We all had designated tasks which for the most part we each fulfilled with care and expertise. It was a matter of bringing it all together to create a profound project, which had the motors worked and the algae glowed it would have been.

Task 5 again

As this final idea progessed, we became more and more interested in developing a system to emulate a natural biological experience. The design was supposed to incorporate elements of the built environment we all know and love, as well as elements of a natural biological experience beginning to emerge through this built up world. The structure plays the role of the built environment, and the acrylic sheeting emulates an amoeba like form which could be experienced under a microscope. Here are some concept drawings done by Dave and I:

Dave and I were in charge of creating the form. We used Digital Project to help create a more sound and coherent design by setting up parameters to work within, as well as using them to our advantage. The overall design was to be 6feet tall by 8feet wide, with the potential to swing forward and backwards to agitate the IV bags of bioluminescent algae. In order to fabricate the 1/4" acrylic purchased for these sections I got to learn how to use the CNC router, which was very exciting. The University has a fantastic fabrication lab, and I was glad to be able to utilize it for a project of my own. Here are some fabrication images of the acrylic:\

Task 5 continued Day # unsure

In class Eugene Shteyn was our guest professor/presenter and got the entire class to think critically of the work we were adventuring into for our final project. Our group has already taken drastic turns with our intentions, beginning with a water purification system, to now a sloth-like helio-bot. What was to come next we were not entirely expecting.
Throughout the day with Eugene Shteyn, we were all asked to question our projects and really try to discover the potential in the task as well as pull out issues which still needed to be addressed in order to make a stronger more innovative project. By the end of the day, we realized there was a lot to reconsider for our helio-bot in order to make it as successful as we wanted it to be.
After dwelling upon the outcome of our class period with Eugene Shteyn, the team reconvened, some wanting to move forward with the helio-bot, others wanting to take it back to the drawing board. Back to the drawing board we went.
The new proposals were a success. It would still include algae, and human interaction, but would manifest itself in a new form. No longer a robot, per say, but an "installation" sculpture of sorts. Its overall implications and purpose were still unclear, but we knew it would involve more closely parametric modeling, digital fabrication, algae, and human interaction. All of these were ideas we professed interest in at the very start of the project.

Task 5, Day 4, 10/27/2009

From the previous team meeting, the group decided to follow through with designing a helio-bot, a mobile robot. Some of the characteristics we deemed important to investigate and implement in the design were as follows.
  • always follows the sun: energy hungry/social commentary
  • algae for hydrogen: perhaps using bio-luminescent algae
  • hydrogen and solar cells: hydrogen to generate power for movement, and solar cells to power the "brain" (i.e. GPS)
  • acrylic cylindrical tubes to be used as internal light source: bring light inside the algae
  • design based off of animals that are sun hungry: cold blooded, reptiles
  • waste products: water balloons?
After discussing our ideas for the helio-bot, we further broke down the essentials to have figured out and assigned tasks/research to be fullfilled by the next team meeting

Things we need to discover/figure out
  • form
  • movement
  • algae and process
  • materials
  • solar cells
  • power stats
Again, six topics of research, six team members...everyone had a crucial part in further developing this project

Friday, December 18, 2009

Task 5, Day 3, 10/25/2009

Today the final project was re-directed, we were advised to dwell upon the past solar trackers we created in class and to intensify them, essentially we were to create a glorified solar tracking device.
New Ideas from the group. Brainstorm round 2
  • folding
  • "Halca Muses-B" satellite
  • Hyposurface
  • helio-bots
  • synthetic tree form
  • amphitheater/pavilion
  • park - night light
  • tents
  • back of cell phone: on person (coat, hat, adornment)
  • building: windows, walls/facades, roof
  • cars
  • bridges
  • awnings
  • bikini
  • windshield visor
  • sun tea
  • sunglasses
  • satellite
  • balloon/bubble wrap
  • lenses - inflatables
  • water filled pockets
  • parasol
  • personality
  • chameleon
  • vacation: towels, lounge chair
  • airplanes
  • pool covers
  • ski lifts
  • boats
  • buoy: lily pads, ecology
  • algae: bioluminescents, photo reactors
  • moonwalk
  • seat/shade
  • asylum/mattresses

Other topics discussed in this meeting
Things that work as photovoltaic cells
  • flexible p.v
  • off the shelf panels
  • colored panels (light diffusion)
  • silicon: single/poly, amorphous
  • multijunction devices
  • paintable
  • polymer
Concentrate/Track the sun
  • lens
  • balloon
  • water pockets
  • triangles
  • mirrors/reflectance
  • mechanized movement
  • hyrdrolics/thermal expansion
  • hydrasolar trackers

Task 5, Day 2 10/23/2009

Water purification became our first idea. Serve as an educational tool, to be placed in a publicdomain. Some characteristics of interest was for the project to be spatial, looked upon as an object, and involve human interaction. Some precedent studies we looked at included the Blur Building by Diller Scofidio and Renfro, along with the Water Theater by Grimshaw Architects.
Following a class presentation of our ideas, we further broke down the project into categories of research for our next team meeting.
  • Filtration types
  • sediments for filtration
  • cyclical forms
  • materials - specifically for distillation
  • water testing
  • gravity filtration
Six team members, six topics to research

Task 5, Day 1, Brainstorm 10/16/2009

Final Project group and task were assigned. "Each team is required to design, build, program and test a 'heliotropic smartsurface' that makes use of:
  • solar energy harvesting
  • microcontroller programming (arduino) and circuit building
  • Parametric modelling (Digital Project)
  • Digital Fabrication
Our first meeting was a brainstorm session, where we tried to develop a sense of what everyone was interested in and eager to pursue for a final project
Interests among group/issues
  • inhabitable
  • use of fab lab
  • human interface
  • shelter
  • self-contained
  • sustainability
  • materiality/fabrication
  • form
  • modularity
  • simplicity/elegance
  • affordability
  • reproducible
  • who is the audience?
  • use of shortcuts (good/bad)
  • wearable?
  • solving a social problem, economic problem, cultural problem
  • Resources
  • cradle to cradle
  • decomposition
  • energy tapping
  • design of the city - urban design, public vs. private
  • "rainforest effect" - layering
  • connect the future to the past
  • Biomimicry - mimic the actions of nature
  • kinetic energy - potential energy
  • existing energy sources
  • something for nothing
Initial Constraints for project after this first meeting
  • Urban space
  • biomimicry