Thursday, 23 January 2014

Fragile Beasts | Sculpting Paper

A short 3-day workshop at the Łódź University of Technology with a fantastic outcome. Together with 17 students, we managed to do some interesting exercises and build a 1.9m tall beast from half millimetre thick card paper. As evident in the diagrams, the beast was designed and modelled as a cluster of polyhedra, and then a series of scripts were applied to make it curved-foldable. 

Apart from how strong it was structurally (at least to support itself), there were two interesting outcomes of the workshop: In continuing the lineage of curved folding (previously here and here), this prototype proved that curved folded polyhedra can be aggregated to form more complex structures (albeit to a limited extent).

Secondly, it never fails to amaze me how nicely this shape lends itself to fabrication and quick assembly: this piece took about 5 hours of laser cutting time and a further 5 hours to fold, glue and assemble together; and all this by a group of 17 students who had never done any form of curved folding before.

Anetta Kepczynska-Walczak | Assistant Professor, Łódź University of Technology, Poland
Sebastian Bialkowski | Doctoral Candidate, Łódź University of Technology, Poland
Suryansh Chandra | Senior Designer, ZHA | Code, London

The Design Intention

The Design Process
The LaserCut Pieces Arrive in the Studio

The Folding Assembly Line

Because Folding is so much Fun :)

Uhu it Up: Gluing the Pieces that form a single Polyhedron 

Parallel Processing: Each Polyhedron could be Assembled with a Small Team of Just 2 or 3

Completed First Polyhedron

Being a Sunday, we Hogged the Entire Corridor of our Floor to Setup our Assembly Line

Joining the first two Polyhedra

Edges Lineup Well

Some Narrow Edges Weren't Conducive to being Folded too Sharply

The Base Coming Together

The Lower Half Forming the Base and the Feet done

The Base and one of the Polyhedrons of the Crown. The Leftovers from the Laser Cutter made into Wall Art on the Left.

A Keystone Piece Locks Everything Together

Alignment Checks

SuperLight: One of the Advantages of Paper

Almost there: The Crown Being put into Place

All done: The Entire Team

Thanks to everyone involved for making this possible and finishing up with such an astonishing outcome in just 3 short days, and to the avid photographers for documenting the entire workshop and taking the pictures you see above. A special thanks to Anetta and Sebastian for all their hard work, time and working relentlessly to make sure everything went smoothly, and all the things we took for granted.

I am curious to see how long this piece stands against the brutality of moisture and curious human beings, which over time will soften and distort the paper eventually buckling and deforming.