Articulated Tensions @ Univ. of Calgary

Program: Spatial art installation of scaled prototype for Beakerhead Festival

Client: University of Calgary EVDS

Credits: Faculty - Alvin Huang, Jason S. Johnson,

Students - “[Inside]Out” by Sol Aasland, Xiaoyin Liu, Kurtis Nishiyama, Jason Sedar, Mike Ting, Donny Wolcott, Liyan Wong, “ReST: Relaxed Structural Tessellation” by Andrew Dejneka, Will Frank, Matthew Parker, Larissa Peter, Neal Philpsen, Bin Tian, Maricris Ussher

The 5th annual Dale Taylor Visiting Seminar at the University of Calgary Faculty of Environmental Design was led by Visiting Lecturer Alvin Huang (USC/Synthesis Design + Architecture) and Assistant Professor Jason S. Johnson (U. Calgary/Minus Architecture). This intensive 4 day design/fabricate/build workshop explored digital form-finding techniques to produce a series of scaled architectural prototypes for freestanding pavilion structures. 

Two student teams each developed a proposal through dynamic meshrelaxation processes to simulate the formation of a tensioned membrane structure. A series of mesh panelization protocols were used to test various structural patterns which were materialized as rigid tessellated skin assemblies. Finally, protocols for automating the unrolling, naming, and nesting of components for cutting were implemented.

InformedForm is an ongoing research initiative that explores the relevance of form as a product of discovery by exploring the reciprocity between form (geometry), force (performance), matter (organization), and craft (fabrication). It extends the design research legacies of analogue form-finding in the works of Frei Otto, Antonio Gaudi, Heinz Isler, and Felix Candela by exploring digital and analogue techniques for discovering form through variable material and geometric organizations and force simulations, while simultaneously considering the design opportunities being afforded by advances in computation and fabrication technologies.