Catena7, a group of seven architecture students at The University of Texas at San Antonio, have been given an opportunity to create a ceiling installation inside the studio of William Lambert, a local designer and firm owner. As growing students and aspiring designers for the future, this project is a great advantage to start the practice of clientele, design, purpose of design, and understanding the needs of the people we can help.
Being students of architecture, it is important to learn the latest and most advanced technologies to improve construction methods and increase efficiency. We used two programs to achieve this installation project: Rhino, a three dimensional modeling program, and its plug-in, Grasshopper, a generative algorithm editor. By using these programs wisely, we helped reduce the amount of material, cost, labor, and time that would have been necessary to create this complex project. However, in order to create this digital design, we need a fabricator that will translate the digital computing into a tangible object. Our group's plan is to use a laser-cutter that will cut, score, and alter unique pieces. These pieces will come together and form the design that will visually float just below the ceiling of the studio space.
The complexity of this design proposed many challenges and decisions. One challenge was designing a structure for the installation that would not damage the site. We wanted our design to be visually floating without being too intrusive. We agreed that using a system of catenary cables draped from the existing structure. Strategic adjustment and placement of these cables would ultimately give the project its structure and form. The decision of which materials to use was important in order to create a light weight installation that would require less structural support. We will be using a thin gaged polypropylene plastic that can easily be cut, scored and folded without reducing its strength and stability. Since these articulation details are important for the assembly of the design, we needed to find a way to communicate our ideas in a clear manner. We accomplished this by deciding on a system of tabs and grommets that would connect each module together and allow for adequate flexibility and structure between the modules and the catenary cables.
Risks and challenges
Since our project is at a small scale, the risks and challenges for this project are minimal and are focused on the connections to the space and the overall details of the project. As architecture students, we constantly face challanges in the design world and work hard to correct them. Once we have achieved our KickStarter goal, we will then be able to purchase materials and tools in order to continue our experiment and start the construction of the installation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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