This project was a collaboration with my partner, Tara Ebsworth, as part of course requirements from 4.500—Design Computing. The goal was to create a chair that was easily manufactured out of common materials, and put together only using a rubber mallet. The intent of the design was to use as little wood as possible, and to still be comfortable and stylish. We achieved this by using thin slats of plywood that had some give, conforming to the body.
Our design was inspired by the humble park bench, with simple curves adding optical appeal and inspiring the name—the Icon, because if it’s resemblance to religious icons.
For our final review, we were judged on both aesthetics and comfort, and this dainty little chair held our 6’4”, 220lb instructor comfortably.
The goal of the project was to design an eco-friendly, earthquake-resistant structure that could be built using locally sourced labor and materials.
The project began with site analysis. We examined climate data from nearby Kathmandu and what little data we could gather of Marbu, as well. We used our analysis of climate data to come up with a simple model of our ideas for insulation. We outfitted the model with temperature sensors, and tested the model for two weeks. We iterated over the design, changing the roof to include clarestory windows when we discovered we needed more ventilation. We additionally designed shutters to improve air flow.
We researched precedents for other seismically stable dwellings, and found houses in Pakistan built with local materials that used cross bracing for stability. We incorporated a similar idea into our design. As part of our research, we explored the tensile strength of clay bricks, and how their strength varied with the inclusion of cement. We tested the bricks that we made. In our design, we imagined bamboo cross bracing infilled with bricks made of local materials, which would provide plenty of support in a seismic event.
A rendering of the finished school design. The main facade of the building is coated in clay, and the columns as well as the roof are constructed of bamboo, which is native to Nepal.
We used the program CoolVent to test the airflow with wind from all directions. A rainbow spectrum represents windspeed, with yellow being the fastest, and blue being less than 1 m/s. Light blue is ideal. Airflow through the building is evident.
Shutters funnel air into the building when the wind is coming from the narrow end.
The precedent for rock filled walls with cross-bracing in a Pakistani house
Diagram of execution of the bracing mechanism
Overhead view of the lighting analysis, completed using the DIVA program. Blue indicates 0% daylit during time occupied (9am-6pm) and orange indicates 100% daylit.
Snapshot rendering of the daylight analysis (9am on February 12).
The Quack House is a security guard shelter that stands next to a gated entrance. With a slanted window and a seductively angular design, it is both practical and beautiful. This project was completed as part of 4.500 Design Computing.
We began with a cylindrical shape, and approached this issue of manufacturing it with straight materials. We decided to create the shape with straight panels, making a dodecagon. The roof, slanted window, and general form allows the guard house to still appear cylindrical.
The joints were 3D printed out of ABS, and the panels and base are plexiglass and masonite, spray painted for contrast. The roof was constructed out of bristol board.
Rendering of the guard house
Assembly involved 3D printed joints.
The completed model, with realistic security guard figures.
Every project that was completed through the semester of Studio 2 was based on the simple premise of a process completely removed from architecture: protein methylation. The dichotomous nature of this process provided the logic for the creation of a dynamic and interactive Processing drawing, which then became the starting point for two major projects.
An expansion of the drawing into three dimensional space became a theoretical building space, made from plaster poured into a mold made of lasercut paperboard. The final piece measured one cubic foot.
A second major venture was the evolution of the Processing drawings into a usable space, rather than just a concept. I used areas of high concentration of lines to form the floorplan.
From the undulating nature of the drawings, I theoreticized a building with spaces that could expand and contract based on occupation, from study carrels with thickened, accordion walls for sound insulation, to larger, airier rooms that encourage interaction and study groups. From spaces of high density and activity in the drawings came rooms. Areas with lower density became smaller spaces within the building, lower rooflines providing coziness.
Using the original Processing drawings, I outlined areas of high density to create usable spaces within the building.
Here, I theorized the evolution of drawings over time. The bottom of the figure was one moment in time, and the top of the figure is another, making the vertical access the change over time.
The model was cast in plaster using a paperboard, laser cut form. 240 stacks of paperboard created this model, roughly one cubic foot.
Top view of the same model
Elevation of the building. Higher traffic areas were open and vaulted, the lower traffic areas created cozy study spaces.
The roof of the building was inspired by origami folds.