June 12, 2006

Things to do for Friday

The core drawings I need to do before tables to really explain everything are;

01. Redo all drawings which remain unclear and are half done like those below.
02. Master Section showing how the ground undulates according to programme and shell configuration above
03. Two other sections perpendicular showing the same
04. Large mental ray render of internal space - DARK REGION
05. Large mental ray render of internal space - LIGHT REGION
06. Detailed drawing showing reasoning behind local deformations
07. Large photo of stl model on one page
08. Collection of photos of stl model with specific light conditions

xx. Produce book containing script evolution

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Plan study


A study of the end result in plan, showing how the program regions have deformed. On the right will be a collection of light studies of each area.

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Process looping DWG


This will become the main drawing showing exactly how intended programme and related networking are part of a design loop, where scripted and intended work together to produce the end result.

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Process DWG


DRAWING YET TO BE FINISHED. A lot of drawings that are going to come out over the next few days will be to o with CLARIFYING what I have. This drawing illustrates the reasoning behind the programme configuration. It shows how by studying both site and natural light with a list of intended programmes to go in the gallery, a network configuration emerges.

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June 11, 2006

Model 01


The stl model arrived on Friday. Here are some initial photos of it. More to come next week. Very happy with it even though it's slightly different from what I was expecting. The 3d computer model had a bit more permeability to it - allowing a little more light through the shells in given areas. However, with this model light can enter at the openings either end and between shells. Still, I like.

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Model 02


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Model 03


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June 08, 2006


11 new drawings below which were all showed in todays Jury. I also showed another movie - my movieSection to go with my moviePlan I blogged yesterday.


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Section through the shell configuration. I've tried to put as much info here without crowding it on the page. A map if you will to the formation.

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Principal Plan


This one is a start which I decided to show for todays Jury. The intention is to add to it with a network diagram, light conditions etc

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Process DWG


I've been changing this drawing for ages and it's haunting me. Need to revisit it and add to it to try and link my shells with intended programme and light....

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Internal View


This really shows the power of mental ray. To the left is light - where I want it to be lighter due to programme, and to the back, the left in the picture, is darker which corresponds to programme too.

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External View


A Mental Ray render looking west showing the shell latticing close up.

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Final Script


The final script. Heavily critised in the Jury for overstaing this tool, in Tables I'll replace all other scripts with this one and put all scripts and shell development in a little book for the exhibition (or even Tables!)...

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Mental Ray


A first attempt on using the powerful Maya renderer, Mental Ray. Mental Ray uses accurate light conditions, which males it good to use to show light interacting with these shells.

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Realised I didn't have any photos of my Light.Form.....

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light permeability


using the same shell geometry, but changing thickness, this study shows light and how it passes through the shell.

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shell density


shell configuration density. This drawing is weak and will be continued to incorporate why given areas should have a denser shell region. I know why, but it needs to be here.

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member dimension


through changing the dimensions of the shell members, light can be controlled through the shells. With maximum thickness, the shell becomes entirely impermeable, a solid.

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Jurors; Andreas, Oliver and Eugene. George L. came late and missed my project which I was a little upset about as I felt he would have given some more specific feedback comments considering his area of work. I'll have to hope he might be around for Tables!

Over the last few days, I've felt the project - the gallery - coming together well. And I think this showed in the work. However, because I've been so engrossed in the scripting - programme design loop, I haven't had the chance to stand back and see the project as a whole. This definitely showed in the presentation and the majority of the initial comments were devoted to this. Luckily this can be easily turned around - I just need to look, rearrange, remove and add drawings over the next week to really formalise what I'm doing and the process I'm going through.

I'll post now all the images I showed today.

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June 07, 2006


Here's something that is done. A rather large file so will take a little while to load. Its a moviePlan.

Download file

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Realised haven't posted for a while. A little snippet. Will deluge the blog later in the day...


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June 04, 2006

Little issue

Deforming to the configuration I've established before, this new script has a few little problems at the ends - ugly. There's no way I can think of sorting these out. So for the large scale drawings of the configuration, I'll stick to the old method, and for close ups, and the STL (again), I'll do the new look with a different configuration that won't have these end issues.


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Break through!!!

Bit of bad news first. Yesterday morning while I was coughing, my lower back gave way in the same place as where it did last summer - when I had to be taken to hospital via an ambulance from the AA. This time its okay in comparison, but I've been hobbling around, just being able to walk on it. Bad news considering I'm only 25.

The good news is whilst laid out on the floor stretching the muscles, I had a thought. This has lead to a big break through in constructing my shell structures. The improvements are;

Being able to control the thickness of the members at different parts of the same shell (before the thickness was uniform). Now, in the same shell I can really play with permeability where one end of the shell might be fine and open, allowing light through the shell, and the other end thicker forming a solid shell. It is also very easy to control local variations post deformation. So if I want to increase the thickness in a very localised area, I can.

The script has just shrunk.

The construction of each member is far more simple.

I have added a function to make it STL ready. Meaning if I want to STL this one (which I do) I don't need to spend hrs in front of Rhino or Maya getting it ready - it is ready.

The ends of the members are far cleaner now (still need to develop this though).

Now I really need to draw all this up...


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Closeup of the above image...


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June 02, 2006

Maya Nightmares

Over the last two days I've been preparing for a HUGE section showing all. However, to get to this stage I need to section something. So I've been working on an improved shell configuration which works better and has more texture to it. HOWEVER, Maya is a nightmare. It took the computer 12hrs to get to just 54% in rendering a vector dwg of a section. So I stopped it and now trying to think of alternative ways to get the base image so I can start rendering. All these amazing drawings you see around the school, aren't done over night - they take a lot of time and a lot of patience, something I need to learn.

For now, here's a little render. The texturing is getting there. Not quite what I want, but on its way.


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May 30, 2006

STL Description

A page describing the process needed to create an STL ready file.


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A 'fish-bowl' render. More renders will be done on the improved shell configuration.


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Light Renderings

These are light renderings of the current shell configuration. They've been taken as 6am, 12pm, 6pm and 12am on the 22 June. Still, too much light is entering into the gallery space - this configuration will be approved apon to really address this with a long, detailed section.


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Deformer Script

A re-draw which is way more clear than the old.


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Light Drawing

Another re-drawn light drawing and vector elevation


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Shell Re-Draw

Drawing re-done to make it work!


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May 27, 2006


Now for some DRAWINGS... The next ten entries will be NO renderings, NO comments, NO photos and NO waffle - just DRAWINGS.

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So true


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Over the last few days I've been keeping a low profile working away at trying to turn my shell configuration into an STL ready file. The plan is to send this file over to the RCA who will then make a 3D model from the file using a polycarbonate based material. This is their site;


The process of turning my Maya file into an STL one is a lengthy process. Everything had to be 'water-tight' so that each shell member had no holes in it. The original file I had of the shell configuration which was scripted had 480 members (lattice lengths) that were in effect tubes - the ends of which were open and needed closing. Initially I thought I could close these ends through scripting and went about writing another script which would close everything at a press of a button. However... it didn't work, well it did work, but the files were so huge, it crashed EIGHT computers that were simultaneously processing the file (the PC's crashed before the Mac's). The lesson to this is listen to your tutors. However during this process I did find a way of manually closing each hole in Maya, exporting everything to Rhino, joining the lose ends to the members all in one go, and then exporting the file as an STL file. And it worked, luckily without the need of spending much time in Rhino!

This file will be sent to the RCA, but I've imported it into Maya, and these are some quick renderings (will be going into the AA today to do some nice mental ray renderings). They're red because they were imported as red - not my choosing, but it'll work to give the form;




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May 24, 2006

Deformer Script

This second script takes the grids created previously and deforms them into shells. The dimensions of the shells being defined by the variables inputted.


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Former Script

Here's the first script laid out on a page. All this simply creates a grid with a thickness to each member that you can define and duplicates the grid as many times as necessary. [sorry about the small font!]


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May 23, 2006


using the structure as the cladding allowing a degree of permeability


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May 22, 2006

Basic Renders

A few renders of the latest form.



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New Script Window

I'M THERE WITH MY SCRIPT. This is the window with some variables added which created the shells in the next entry. Now the script has been improved to a state which I'm happy with I can now go full steam ahead with creating my gallery form that matches my programme and light conditions...


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May 21, 2006

getting there


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Maxwell for Maya

According to the company; www.maxwellrender.com, Maxwell IS available for Maya on OS X platforms. Is there anybody out there with a copy???

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Break through

Feel as though my script is finally getting there. It's been GREATLY simplified - i.e. far less lines in the script editor AND it can do far more. I've added a 'cladding' function in to cover the mesh thus forming solid shells. I've also enabled you to choose how many shells you want to deform and then deform them all according to the variables you input. Here's a quick one I did below.


The rest of the day will be devoted to getting something looking really good ready for Monia tomorrow. During which time I know there will be a few more functions I want to add to the deforming script...

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After a very long day yesterday, I've finally worked out how to script each member to give it a variable thickness. Sorry no Maxwell used - that can be done soon. Now my priority is to create a series of shells so they work at look v sexy ready for tomorrow so I can take the file to Rhino and get it STL ready, oh, and do some of those Maxwell renders you non-mac guys are so excited about...


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May 18, 2006

New Media Jamming Session

Tonight was a neat little one at the AA. There were a collection of five of us showing our work to do with new media - all of which involved scripting in usually different languages. I ended up showing my action script from my media studies classes - click - the longer you leave it the better it comes, and, it could be slow depending on your computer! I felt completely out of my depth as ALL the other pieces were far better in all aspects. I received a lot more than I gave. About 30-40 students were there and we had a beer or too so all was smoothed out well.

I also used the evening to try and get help to figure out my gallery script. However, even with help I'm still no closer to finding out how to do it. What I do know is that creating an array of nurbs torus, adding a lattice to them and then deforming them by controlling the points of the lattice through the script is the way forward. Will keep working on it...

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Serious scripting issues

I've been sitting at my screen for the WHOLE of yesterday and ALL of this morning trying to figure just one thing out in Maya - adding a thickness to my shell frame members. To date each member of the frame is simply lofted, which is not good enough especially as I'm planning to STL this in the next week or two. The thing is I can't even model it let alone script it. Maya can be a complete **** sometimes.

Issue; I need to improve my script so that at some point I either;
a). offset the lofts to different degrees (not the same value) and box them to solidify the members
b). don't use lofting, but instead create an array of 4-sided nurbsTorus, script the inner radius to vary in size, stitch them before deforming, so when deforming the centre point of each is moved but they are still joined forming a smooth gridded shell with varying hole dimensions.
c). create an array of 4 sided linear nurbsTorus as before so they are all butted up against each other. Lattice the lot and then apply the deforming script to the lattice points thus creating a very smooth surface.

The latter is my favourite as I think the result will be the smoothest giving exactly what I want. However, I've been reading up similar examples on the web but cannot figure out for the life of me how instead of deforming each object to the script - through using a matrix and a string - to move each lattice point in the same way?

Help would be great!

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May 16, 2006


Brilliant lecture tonight and very inspiring. Everyone should visit his website; www.dextro.org. More of an artist than anything, Dextro gave a pre-recorded lecture on his last ten years of work. His web scripting produces drawings which includes the use of mathematics such as algorithms. Even though his work is 2d and will always remain on the screen, there are still various links with other forms of scripting which more closely tie in with the 3d, and architecture. Scripting is scripting whatever language you're writing in. The fundamentals are the same and are very powerful. His lecture was inspiring as more than anything, he re-affirms scripting as a tool that we'll be seeing much more of in architecture...

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Another positive tutorial; I feel as though the last few have all been very much to the point - just pushing the design through to see where it goes without worrying too much with going in the wrong direction. There were a few drawings missing - a few linking pages explaining following pages which I'll get done straight away. The really interesting part is developing the scripting - improving the variables so they better match the parameters and better still, seeing the shells take shape. With the help of Martin I think I've figured out a way to give the gridded framework a thickness, and I hope by changing the degree of thickness, solid shells can be formed without the need for cladding.

The drawings below give the first understandable layout. Here I have drawn the site, laid out where I want programmes to be placed, based on light, size, connections and paths, drawn out a series of rectangular 'building block' shells, then allowed the programme to deform these shells to leave an array of overlapping forms that relate to their respective programme, and to one another. This process is reiterative, meaning that once the deformation has occurred, changes my be needed in programme, which might in turn affect the deformation. Included in this process are the constraints of scripting. The scripting is what is driving the shells, and even though any curve can be attributed to a formula, it is far more interesting for the formula to work WITH the curve (or programme) to be able to produce a unified approach, if that makes sense?

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Side Elevation

Three out of the eight/nine shells have been scripted so far. Here's the side elevation of them...


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I'll explain them in my next entry, but briefly I've been trying to run in parallel form generation through the mel script with site parameters, programme and LIGHT.


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Light Plan


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Miniture Sections


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May 12, 2006


Whilst trying to do my programme and light studies I realised I really wanted to create a shell that would form a cave-like form, so that you can really get inside it, walk on it and allow the shell to enclose you from the surroundings. Useful for a media projection space where light needs to be reduced. I've therefore added another line of script "Z Cave" [move -r -ls -wd 0 0 ((1 / ($y2+0.001)) * $RVar);] Not that pretty at the moment, but after a few settings were adjusted got this beast;


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Problem solved, I think. Here I've managed to figure out a way of contecting each node through the script (sorry; lofting was used). The members don't have a thickness, but it's getting there.


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May 11, 2006

Form 'framed'

In addition to drawing up a couple of pages linking the form with programme and light, I've been looking at building the shells in Maya using a revised version of the cube. This new unit - the cross will enable the shell to develop a mesh straight away avoiding the need of adding a mesh manually once the form has been found.

There are issues with scale and rotation of each unit which I need to resolve quickly.

060511 truss test.tif

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May 09, 2006

Bike Stolen

I stopped off with my girlfriend at High St Ken after showing her our exhibition and after returning to my bike, it was stolen! This is ridiculous - I would have thought High St Ken of all places during the day would be one of the safer places to leave your bike. And besides, they have purpose built bike racks in the middle of the road in full view of the shops!

Anyway, I phoned the police and have reported it... Even though I know he won't be caught, I do know he wasn't too intelligent as he left the cut lock and my helmet on the floor - with his blood over them. He must have cut himself when he was cutting my lock. So the police have his blood which is something I suppose.

Now I'm subject to the tube. Oh, and I've just been on Google and found that according to the Home Office 131,000 bikes were stolen in the UK during 2004 - that's a lot of bikes. And to those of you who have stolen - remember each one of those bikes really meant something to the owner.

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I've started to compose a plan drawing, however after todays tutorial I will need to start again. Todays tutorial was very concise - which is very good. The next immediate stage is to construct two very clear drawings of exactly how I can adapt my shell using my mel formula to programme and light - a drawing for each. With this I can start to really adapt each shell to fit with site, light and programme. There's also a whole lot more to do including looking at changing the 'cube' to something that will work better...

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Mel Script Library

The formula used to create ShellBourne is an extremely powerful tool to create double curvature forms that would otherwise be designed by hand and subsequently be highly subjective. By introducing a formula and using Maya mel, a very precise way can be established which controls the precise parameters of a form to be able to match it to site and programme. Below shows the window and script created and eight stages which have progressively been changed, from a single grid of 10x50 cubes. As each variable is adapted, a progressive form emerges.


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The first section so far - lots more to do to match with programme, light and site


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Elevations showing the nine shells


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May 08, 2006

Thickness Variation

I also need to be starting to manipulate these shells so they start to enclose the spaces inside. There should be slits between shells but at the moment I fear they are too large!


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The plan to my gallery so far. Still in the early stages, but nevertheless a plan. There are nine shells here, each over-lapping one another and each being created using my mel script. I've established which parameters belong to which variables and found the following form to fit with site (site-less in this render).

Things still to do: relate to programme functions within; relate to site in a drawing; make sure user flow works; light studies etc...


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May 07, 2006

Script Improved

Going back to look at the script I produced, I found there were a number of flaws. This afternoon has been spent redoing the script and improving it so I really do know exactly what each variable in the formula does and thus how to control the form. Below doesn't look much at the moment, but believe me, it definitely means something. It started off as a grid of 10x50 cubes and after going through the formula it came out as this:


The next task is to link my parameters with the variables (shouldn't take long), and by Tuesday DESIGN a basic form of a gallery using this powerful tool...


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May 06, 2006

Script Development

After being asked by my tutors earlier in the week that I had a wide gap between how I was explaining the project and what was on paper, I felt the need to look over my whole project, the direction I was going in, and make some serious decisions. The principal issue was trying to explain how I came up with the shell aggregation I had - trying to link it with the table of parameters I established. I found it was impossible to link them as the shells were derived from a single Cartesian Equation where it was impossible to link my parameters with the variables in the equation. And besides, what ever rules I came up with to try and establish a link and to make the shell aggregations look good, it never really worked. So, the Cartesian Equation is out and I've formulated my own equation where each variable is linked with a parameter; in other words I can precisely control the form of the gallery to fit with programme without being inhibited by a non-relevant equation. Scripting is still the right way to go about this as it is such a powerful tool to be able to ensure that the curves on the surface are efficient and right for the gallery. The formula itself is unique and will be polished over the next few days so I can really start to control the form. Below is a quick output of the script so far. Here I've produced two different shells, each slightly different and overlapped them. The next task is to redo it, linking the form to programme, and making it look good (less cubic!).


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May 04, 2006

Exhibition Images

A few images of my exhibit at the AA Exhibition, 10 Lights. I've used these photos to update my website; www.formable.net A basic website, but I intend to make it grow...






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May 02, 2006

Shell development

Drawing composing latest designs and thoughts onto the page. The gallery project needs to be kick started again into action after the last few weeks of exhibition preparation. This drawing looks at adapting a single shell structure derived from scripting to initially work with programme, which is then further manipulated by expanding the form into separate shells, all related to its neighbour, thus enclosing the gallery, only allowing controlled light in through the gaps between shells. The gaps are defined by programme; wishing to include two types of galleries; static and moving.


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May 01, 2006

Weekend in the Peak District


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Opening Night

Last week was a long one. The exhibition was opened last Friday as the images on the main page show and I think it went down pretty well.

More images will be posted of my exhibit over the next week when I have a chance to take some good photos!


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April 21, 2006

Lamp dwg

A VERY quick drawing just to show the change in pattern along each of the three strips. The pattern is designed so that multiple strips can be put end to end and the pattern would continue without any abrupt changes. Also, each strip is split into three different EL lamps, meaning the light intensity of each lamp can be controlled independently. With the change of pattern I have found that there is a change of how the form responds when it is squeezed/bent along the edges, giving different degrees of double curvature. When I install the light I'll try and let the pattern dictate how and where I bend and hence induce this double curvature along the form.

I'm also looking at sensors but fear time is not on my side. The sensors would control the light intensity of each of the nine units; so by moving, the user would have control. This goes part way to my idealised state where the user would not only change the intensity, but also control the degree of curvature through actuators of each unit.


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Model Cut!

It's been a long two days. 1300 cuts and 2600 hole punches later, all nine units have been cut to the pattern. Now the hard work is done, the electronics need to be sorted out - with the help of one of the guys from elumin8, the backbone threaded with silicon tubing, and the entire light mounted and protected with a perspex box before the exhibition opens...

The one above with the tubing threaded is upside down - think it looks quite cool this way and I'll probably end up twisting one of the strips so that you will be able to have a sneak look at this side.

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April 20, 2006

FormAble.Net production

With the exhibition opening soon, I've been fully focused in producing a 1:1 model of my Light.Form, FormAble.Net, There'll be 9 separate units, each individually controlled and able to be bent at different degrees to give a double curvature. FOUR units have been made, and the remaining FIVE units will be completed tomorrow. A few things will be needed to be done to them during the weekend / next week, but the main work is nearly there.

One unit - approx 750x300mm

This unit was tested and all worked well!

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April 12, 2006



Thinking too about grounding the shells. Here, I've designed a base (highlighted red) which corresponds to the Cartesian curvatures of the shell touching it. I'm moving in the direction of completely enclosing the space with further shells and grounding - thus all light entering to the inside will have to pass through these controlled fractures - spaces between shells. At the moment it is way to open, receiving far too much light.

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Facing Up


With just a LITTLE extra time during these four weeks, I've managed to finish reading a book which I would highly recommend. The book is a non-fiction account of a 23yr old battling to climb Everest. If you're interested in the mountains like me, it's a must, but if you're striving to reach a goal (which I think everybody is at the AA), then it's a great motivational account of determinism and patience.

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April 11, 2006



This-morning was thinking a little about framework as I'm definitely realising the shells will be too heavy if they were solid concrete or another solid material. Instead I'm envisaging a lightweight frame work - carbon fibre for example which is then cladded by a shell, maybe fibreglass. I'm hoping by looking a little into the technical side like this will help to further progress the overall form so it works, and looks good, with all factors included.

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Charles and Ray Eames


I was reading an article yesterday on Charles and Ray Eames. Charles died in '78 but spent a life time with Ray pushing forward the world of design, especially in the USA from mass production chairs to various buildings. I asked myself why do their designs defy time? A lot of thought went into them, but how can you distinguish between good design and bad design? There's no rule book. Instead, only a perception separating the two. Without a natural talent, this is difficult enough to fathom, but to make the design last through generations must for many designers seem bewildering?

I haven't looked into the Eames, but I guess for each of their designs they set out a very clear manifesto of some description. This would have helped them layout the ground rules to allow their talents to flow within. The 1960's Exhibition Mathematica was produced by the Eames office. Like my shell structures, within this exhibition contained designs based on maths. The Eames were heavily involved in this aspect of design. 50 years later, I'm struggling to qualify why I have based by curved shell structures on one particular Cartesian equation.

I think the answer is already there; not only does maths allow you to readjust a design, but it also ensures the curves that are produced will look right. The Cartesian equations allowed a form to be established of a set of curved shell structures, that couldn't have been produced without the use of maths, or any other mathematical equation. This is an easy answer and I'll still search for a better one, but for now it'll have to do!

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 02:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 10, 2006

elumin8 meeting

After a little wait, elumin8 are back in the picture to provide help in building my Light.Form in time for the 10 Light Exhibition our unit is hosting from the 2nd of May in the Back Members Room. I had a meeting today and they were helpful in agreeing to provide minimal support to see the project realised. They agreed to hunt down scrap sheets of EL lamps and bring them to the London office in the next few days so we can go through them to see which pieces would be best to use for cutting. I'll also have access to their London building to build the light. It'll then be transported directly to the AA when complete!

Attached is the document I used to present FormAble.Net.

Will post developments. Now back to the gallery...

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 06:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2006


A few renders to show the direction I'm heading in. Void of site at present, these shell structures nestle together, defining the programmatic areas within. Lots more to be done. Further adaptation needed due to sun movement etc. Also need to look at how ground raises up to shells.


A few issues to cover; 1. Concept hasn't really changed for a while and feel as though the project is in need of a radical push forward (I'm continuing manpulating the shells to fit with program and site and to make them look right, but feel there is a design approach missing - will revisit the manifesto). 2. The Cartesian equations I've been using I feel are restrictive and I haven't captured the full depth of efficiently using scripting. Need to further investigate the scope of scripting. 3. Others I'm sure - will post.

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 08:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 06, 2006

DWG revision

Unhappy with the previous drawing I did of the programmatic diagram, I went back to redo it. There is a whole list of things to do over the next two weeks, but I thought it important to get this one done to give me a stronger lurch forward to sort out my shell structures. And believe me they need sorting out. It's good to have that time off as when you revisit your old stuff, boy can it look bad. Now the 5 principal programme regions within the shell structure will be; temporary gallery, permanent gallery, moving new media, still new media and a cafe.


Better shell layout tomorrow...

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April 05, 2006

Two week easter plan

With the AA closed for two weeks, work continues at speed. Time-tabling;

Wed 5.4 complete and blog post revised programmatic diagrams etc
Thu 6.4 develop gallery design according to yesterday and post
Fri 7.4 maya sun study - adapt design and post
Sat 8.4 layout all new work onto 4A2 dwgs and post
Sun 9.4 construct the 'missing link page' and post
Mon 10.4 preparation for elumin8 meeting - 4pm
Tue 11.4 do some nice renderings for gallery
Wed 12.4 prepare for stl model
Thu 13.4 stl!? will speak to Monia as no access to AutoCad/Rhino
Fri 14.4 work buffer / ts write up
Sat 15.4 work buffer / ts write up
Sun 16.4 work buffer / ts write up
Mon 17.4 EL light manufacturing
Tue 18.4 EL light manufacturing
Wed 19.4 EL light manufacturing & aa
Thurs - Sun ts complete and hts write up (so ready for unit on Mon)

Latest work and thoughts will be posted shortly...

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 03:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 02, 2006

that 10day break

just two photos to wet the appetite;

The lift to the top was in the form of a heli - here it is getting ready to land. We had around ten lifts per day.

Our tracks are on the left in the sun - there were 10 skiers in our guided group.

I won't show anymore(!) but there are more through my brothers photo-site; http://simonusborne.smugmug.com

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March 21, 2006

hold tight until 2nd of april for more...

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 10:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


With issues emerging from last weeks tutorial of relating these shell structures to programme, light and site, I went about to draw up some explanations establishing this relationship. They haven't gone all the way to explain this and will need to be improved to give a far better explanation, but they have helped, with the model, in setting out initial site layouts and a first section. All shown below. There are however a few issues which need to be looked at - principally, explaining very clearly how a Cartesian surface can establish a form that speaks of light and programme. In parallel with this, the form as a whole should be simplified, establishing some basic rules, to create a single form (not two!) that really work well together; and to the programme....

Section through site illustrating varying thickness of shells; shell separation (to vary light intensity); raising ground to edge (support & light control); FRAMEWORK - as in laser cut model; scale.

Rendering of initial layout of structure after each shell has been manipulated, and the ground raised to its edges according to previous drawings.

Linking diagram with site - Circulation and Light;

Diagram linking parameters of site to variables of the Cartesian form (e.g. shell thickness)

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 10:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 18, 2006

laser cutting

Why haven't I used this machine before??? Amazingly efficient way of making an accurate model. A little work (yesterday and this morning) went into the preparation - exporting from Maya to Rhino to VectorWorks to AutoCad and then laser cutting, but I'm pleased with the results. Was hoping to laser cut a model that responded to my site better - drawings of which will be uploaded during the weekend - but either way this shows the framework (missing the cladding) of a single shell structure....

In the making (four shells were cut);

Photo's of one shell framework;

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 11:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 15, 2006

Francois Roche Lecture

Very nice intro with a very sweet (and highly abstract) looped scene of machines producing towers of structural phlegm. The render was very surreal and even though there was a lot of laughing in the back rows, I really enjoyed watching it. Very DRL meet Alien. Maybe in a millennium we'll see these machines designing and constructing huge structures? After that he showed an audio movie (picture of old man sitting moving slightly) which tried to get the audience into a trance state. I fell to sleep and that was that...

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Feel as though yesterday's pin-up made me realise how exhausted I was! Have been battling away at trying to make a gallery out of the shells, that I've lost touch with what I'm doing. Slightly annoyed I could have presented in a far better way and be more optimistic with what I've been doing. Scripting is a powerful tool, and the idea of changing a detail of a structure without having to completely redraw the whole thing just by changing a slider in a script, really appeals to me and is somewhere I strongly feel architecture is going in (being way more efficient). I ended up visiting a friend for drinks after and explained the project. He liked the layouts and graphics, but I found I couldn't justify these shells being gallery's and bending light to fit with programme - they're currently too caught up in a script and could be anything, placed anywhere. There's lot more work to be done....

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Two More

Two more drawings that were shown at yesterdays Pin-Up.

Shell construction process;

Initial site layout thoughts;

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 14, 2006

Inbetween DWG

This drawing is kind of showing thought moving away from the single form to exploring more and in different ways - physical too.


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March 13, 2006


Just to get initial ideas of programme and site, which will, very soon, help with the positioning, curvature etc of my Cartesian forms...


Posted by Patrick Usborne at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Went for the fibreglass option...

Embedded the framework with clay;

painted on the resin with fibre glass sheets;

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 10:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 12, 2006

no.8 & 9

To complete the collection of shells, no.8 & 9. Now for some drawings to explain all of these fancy forms.


Posted by Patrick Usborne at 06:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Two more


Posted by Patrick Usborne at 01:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 11, 2006


To go along side the shell already drawn and modelled, I've added another four to the catalogue. They're all very different even though they're from the same Cartesian equation. Hopefully they will respond to programme depending on scale and positioning and with further adjustments that will be drawn out later...

Shell_02 | Shell_03 | Shell_04 | Shell_05 ;


Posted by Patrick Usborne at 09:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


I've been recently thinking about programme - what will the gallery do??? To help out I posted the question on the site Mac.Rumors to see what the mac community would want in a gallery placed on the rooftop of the Apple store.

I've taken the top comments infused with mine and allocated them their own Light.Bender shell. XL - XS dictates a rough relative size of each...

1. XL Apple Cafe (with the best espresso in town)
2. XL Principal exhibition space for Mac artists work
3. L Apple Mac Museum
4. L New Media Gallery; inc. iMovie
5. M The Future; apple concepts on display
6. S The Community; exhibition by mac users for mac users
7. S Webs; dedicated free email centre
8. S entry & facilities
9. XS Cafe facilities

Send a comment if you have any other ideas for programme...

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 09:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 10, 2006


Talking of cladding, I went to Tarrantos to discuss ways in which I can clad my framework to form shell like structures with a nice smooth surface. Three techniques were mentioned;

1. Embed the framework with clay, fix to base, vacuum form upper surface, turn upside down, vacuum form second surface, join.
2. Embed the framework with clay, spray clay dryer to clay, coat with fibre glass resin
3. Embed the framework with clay, dip in silicon mould, pour plaster in mould.

If anybody else has any other ideas let me know!

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 08:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Maya Render

Will be part of a larger drawing to be done for Tuesday's pin-up


Posted by Patrick Usborne at 08:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Modelling has been the task of yesterday. Here's some pics of what I have built - plastic woven together. This will be one of nine or so frameworks from which I can create shell structures through cladding...


Posted by Patrick Usborne at 08:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 08, 2006

image updates

Work from this morning. With inspiration from yesterday's lecture, I've taken a leap forward in adapting the Cartesian equations I had. They are now far more related to site and context. I've looked at the parameters I want to focus on - Light, Site and Programme and paired them with variables imbedded into the Cartesian Equation. The results are far better, giving more complexity and a far greater reality.

Below is three views of one of the outcomes. I have cardboard, and this afternoon I'll attempt to make it (no access to laser cutter today so I'll have to have a steady hand)...


Posted by Patrick Usborne at 03:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 07, 2006

George L.Legendre


George's lecture, Before and After: What a Mess was certainly a top insight into the possibilities of linking parametric equations to form. His work over the last year of a pedestrian bridge in Singapore was certainly an amazing effort to try and unify the two. In ways his work does remind me of Santiago Calatrava, but in a way that is far more looking at these parametric equations as the principal of the form. During his lecture he did say all forms can be abstracted from an equation or number of equations. He's right, but I somehow feel the work he's doing is lacking a sense of personal rigour - a judgement that this should have a 'wow factor'. I won't go as far as saying bland, as I like what he does (my project is currently following a greatly simplified version), but it hasn't got that edge.

I did like his presentation - especially linking his work of i,J&p to the layout of his book, and lettering in general. Nice touch to the lecture.

Posted by Patrick Usborne at 09:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)