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By Haresh Lalvani and Ajmal Aqtash

School of Architecture, Center for Experimental Structures

The range of projects shown here includes continued exploration of minimal surfaces, kinetic systems and systematic morphology. One example of each is shown.

Topological Surfaces – A Scherk Tension Surface (1-3): An all-tension surface, requiring a bounding compressive frame, was built systematically from pre-cut patterned fabric modules (stretch fabric in this instance) and assembled in parts and larger aggregates. Preliminary studies of Scherk’s minimal surface topology through digital models, paper models of faceted versions (9,10), tension fabric studies (11,12) and 3d printed models (7,8) provided the basis for designing the fabric components with the intent of assembling them into a larger pre-fabricated membrane structure within a rigid frame.

Dynamic Morphology – Kinetic Structures: Starting with kinetic precedents from nature, technology, architecture, technology and sculpture, students developed their own dynamic structures that ranged from disc-type deployables shown here as a family (4,5), interacting gears that enabled kinetic motion, rigid deployables from linear hinged parts that enable folded surfaces like origami to define space, or proposals for applying Jensen-mechanism to “walking” structures, were explored. We show one example.

Form-Generation – Folded Surfaces: Gaudi’s architecture provided a starting point for morphologic analysis followed by students applying or extending their analysis to the systematic generation of new forms or families of forms. In their small way, these forms go beyond those found in Gaudi’s work. We have explored systems from hyperbolic paraboloids and hyperboloids, toroidal systems, minimal surfaces, folded surfaces and so on. We show one project (6) dealing with the systematic generation of two infinite families of folded surfaces based on the continuous morphing of a unit element.

Students: Anthony Frisenda, Oliver Hall, Amir Karimpour, Azhar Kotadia, Sung-Jun Park, Anthony Rainerman, Keshav Ramaswami, Jae Kim