Course at UC Berkeley – Bending and Folding Structures 2

This follow-up course continues in explorations of the formal and structural possibilities of designing bending and folding structures. The flexural mechanisms and bending-active plate constructions that we envisioned during the winter semester will be pushed to the next level by developing a more holistic design approach, which aims to ensure their feasibility and practical implementation. This time, the class will have a closer look at topics like material bending, construction detailing, digital fabrication and assembly of elastically bent and curved-folded structures. We want to find out how these aspects could positively affect the functional­ morphological relationships that we discovered in our previously developed design proposals. The aim is to bundle different levels of information and to integrate this knowledge into one informed design framework. Once again, we will be using digital simulation tools like Kangaroo Physics and Sofistik® to playfully form-find and systematically optimize our structures. Additionally, we will pay particular attention to the structure’s unique material properties and fabrication constraints. We want to explore, for example, the possibility to control and gear the global deformation of a plate structure by superimposing a compliant texture that can adjust the structure’s flexibility locally. In this context, various manufacturing techniques could be used to generate differentiated structural patterns that have the power to affect the structure’s global and local compliance by creating zones of higher, lower, or even adaptable stiffness. The final goal for this class will be to show that our initial ideas for novel bending and folding structures can be pushed in scale to the size of functional mock-ups and larger scale demonstrations. The class is open for students who have already attended the previous course and are eager to further develop their ideas as well as to new students who are interested in technical implementation and digital fabrication.

bending_workshop3

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