Image from Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich. Sourced at https://gramaziokohler.arch.ethz.ch/web/e/forschung/221.html
Image from Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich. Sourced at https://gramaziokohler.arch.ethz.ch/web/e/lehre/199.html
Image from Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich. Sourced at https://gramaziokohler.arch.ethz.ch/web/e/lehre/219.html

ThinSheetParaShells

Sub-Category:
Research
Category:
Renewable
Index:
67
Start Date:
2017
End Date:
2018
Role:
Self-Initiated
Concept:
topological planar deformation
Duration (weeks):
9
No of Designs or Design Iterations:
1
No of Collaborators:
1
No of Students:
0
External Website:
Award | Exhibition:
No items found.

This shell structure is exploring a different geometric concept with bent and stitched plywood sheets. Here the sheets are assembled as a linear series of assembly. The individual sheets are cut in L-shapes with filleted corners. They are connected at alternating edges so that they can be unfolded as an origami-like structure. The connection type of plastic zip-ties is carried forward from the pedestals design. Since the individual panels are L-shaped, they will deform and are put into a mode of active bending when they are stretched apart. The sheets’ exact L-shape is derived from studies in the digital model, which anticipate the final extent of deformation. The experiment studies potential application as a stable and non-permanent, collapsable shell structure.

The initial fabrication (construction) process is limited to two steps: cutting on a CNC router with two-dimensional, and joining of the panels by manual stitching/tying. The spatial assembly requires the unfolding of the panels and a fixation to counteract the active bending within the sheets. In the illustrated case, 3d printed wedges were positioned in the concave folds to push the panels apart. 

The emerging tectonic qualities in this design study are exposed through supposedly banal decisions, such as wether to cut off the zip-ties or not. If they were cut, the seams may look neater, but sharp edges are left behind and more importantly it is time consuming and tedious. Here, the choice was made for the excess material to remain, which instead creates rather soft and visually uncommon ‘hairs’ that accentuate a very specific edge condition. The curvature of the shell is anticipated, but not entirely determined, so there is an additional uncertainty in the process that creates a slightly fuzzy expression of form on top of the literal fuzziness of the edges.

Collaborators:
Anna Toh Hui Ping
Students:
No items found.
Images (c) Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich
Images (c) Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich
Images (c) Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich
Publications:
Publications:
pdf file download:
eth-49664-01.pdf
Publications:
pdf file download:
eth-49662-01_compressed.pdf
Publications:
Part 1 download pdf: 
eth-49663-01_compressed_01.pdf
Part 2 download pdf: 
eth-49663-01_compressed_02.pdf
External Website:
Collaborators:
Anna Toh Hui Ping
Students: