Our interest in the direction of this project is to construct a relationship been the digital and physical design process so that one feeds into the other and influences the methods of full scale construction.
In this project we intend to utilize an origami folding pattern with a fabric formed ice sheet. The advantage of using origami as a forming technique is that it has the ability to produce rigid stable forms with shear planes, can be formed using non-stretch materials, and made using non-customized sheet patterns.
In order to do this, we are intending to use high-tensioned cables to form the mountains and valleys in the folding pattern to shape the fabric panel. This process will require a translation to move from the techniques required to produce a folded rigid non-stretch plane (like paper) to a edge formed pattern that guides a non-stretch but pliable fabric plane. To begin this we developed a grasshopper model in order to visualize the folding pattern in real time. This model allowed us to develop a pattern language of “valleys” and “ridges” and to choreograph the forces required to manipulate this pattern through Grasshopper and Kangaroo 2. We are beginning with a simple folded pattern that would create a folded barrel vault (capable of being self supporting with an anchored base). With this test pattern we are attempting to find the mechanical behaviour of the ridges and valleys and the points of intersection which join them. Once this is achieved we will use this technique to allow for the exploration and rapid visualization of other origami folding patterns.
The ongoing intent of the digital script is to mimic the physical properties of the material (cable, fabric) and actions (via construction techniques) being used in this project. This allows for the study of the digital through the representation of the physically built structure. At the present time the grasshopper script only mimics ridged body typologies (such as timber struts or planer faces) and not rope or cable topological forms.