DORNroeschen was a Design Studio that explored the potential of parametric design paradigms with specific regards to the digital crafting of material ecologies and the attempt to generate organizational structures at various scales. This studio worked to test particular strategies for creation of these scalable components, which utilized a proliferation logic for scales ranging from urban to building skin to streetscape installations. The concepts of emergence and deep surface formed the basis of research for methodologies that help to choreograph these innovative material ecologies.
Our intervention was directed toward the streetscape and quickly evolved into a component based system which focused on seating, shading, pedestrian/vehicular obstacles, and lighting. My particular facet of research was streetscape lighting. Types of light were broken down into four categories: ambient, reflective, refractive, and diffuse. Rough schematic designs were produced for each of the four categories, and one (diffuse lighting) was selected in order to further my research agenda of parametric design, digital fabrication methodologies, and material ecologies. The object, which became known as the “fuzzy ball”, was modeled using Rhinocerous and Grasshopper which provided endless opportunities for scalability. Once modeling was finished, I performed extensive research on possible manufacturing techniques/technologies and found that although roto-molding the object out of plastic would be the most cost/time efficient method for large scale production, it was an unfeasible method for prototype production. I resorted to utilizing a 3-axis CNC mill and two inch thick extruded polystyrene sheets. The milled polystyrene sheet was then taken and cut down to size, stacked in sequential order thus creating two molds, and was then used to manually mold a mixture of plaster, chopped fiberglass, and acrylic fortifier which in turn made the component light and very strong. Due to the limitations of the 3-axis machine, holes for the electroluminescent wires were manually drilled, and the EL wires were then soldered to a lead wire and inserted into the pre-drilled holes. Once the wires were in place, the lead wires were joined together to create a loom and then connected to the high-frequency driver.
*A collaborative effort with Ramiro Diaz, Adrian Larriva, Kim Wong