The Book Redefined
Briefly, the design agenda was to build a pavilion with the limitations in size, material use, internal space conditions and construction technique. While the main idea was about the fabrication with composites on curved surfaces, this has been approached by the use of Minimal Surface classes in education and design phase. After studies on several surface classes, the selected formula recreated a ‘Gyroid’ surface in digital media using various Rhino and Grasshopper techniques. While the technique of minimal surface creation developed carefully, groups of educators started to design their alternatives based on Gyroid’s geometrical variations and they generated series of models ranging from simple to complex, spacious to iconic, some more volumetric and some more programmatic. After various sessions of tutorial, presentation and jury, one of the products has been chosen for construction. It was important to arrive at this point with the collaboration of all team members. The final product was bounded by its cubic boundary and all curved surfaces were elements to shape the interior space of the pavilion.
After discussions about fabrication strategies and tests about material properties, the final product has been manipulated to meet the all these necessities. This was the point where all fabrication files should have been extracted from the model to kick off the construction part.
The idea of fabrication was to convert the double curved surfaces of the model, into several moulds to be cast by fiberglass through flexible forming technique. In this way, th design model has been divided into separate pieces to be manageable in size. These pieces then converted into structures to be able to be cut by CNC machines from large sheets of MDF. Each one of these pieces then have been assembled and covered by several pieces of fabric to make the flexible mould. These moulds have been cast by fiberglass and resin. After curing process, all these pieces have been assembled and refined. The Pavilion has been made by twelve large pieces, each incorporated some flat boundary areas and some double-curved surfaces of interior space. In terms of workflow, there were different teams to read data and monitor the geometry, assemble structures, make flexible moulds, apply resin and do the refinement.
The main focus of the project was to find out techniques through which a curved surface could be built, using conventional techniques of fabrication and commercially available machineries. The design-research project was looking for the perfection of a simple technique, by making economically reasonable flexible moulds as the base of the geometrical representation of such complex design products. Using composite materials for the solidification of the geometry was the initial idea since it was close to the catalogue of available materials for architecture. Everything was monitored to be in line between ‘creativity’ and also ‘reality’. Although the team has various ideas about the methods that would improve the quality of the product, what that has been fabricated was restricted with several issues like time, budget and adaptability with the context. The challenge that Craft was looking for, was the idea of making digital design and fabrication achievable within all types of projects through realization of simple techniques and collaborative work. The contemporary design move and media provides such facilities, which could be adaptable to various projects’ conditions, yet benefit from the intelligence of collective minds.
Zubin Khabazi (Master of Architecture, AA)
Mehran Davari (Master of Architecture, IaaC)
- unsaturated polyester resin, Medium-density fibreboard, Glass fiber