Satin Sheets | UCLA 2007 | Instructor: Heather Roberge
Developing Superformed Aluminum

Digital design has given rise to formal experimentation that outpaces advancements in construction methods. This seminar attempts to choreograph formal experiments in step with computer aided manufacturing processes such that the two are linked from the outset. Rather than translating a pre-existing design proposal as a reaction to technical and material constraints after schematic design, this technology seminar will incorporate manufacturing specifications as agents of design innovation. The seminar will primarily use CNC milling and vacuum forming to test and assess designs for formed aluminum panels.

The surface effect sought in our project is the simulation of an aqueous substance rendered by the visual tangling of laminar and turbulent surface movement. An immense amount of organizational possibilities materialize from varying the orientation of a single panel boundary. A hexagonal panel is used to maximize the combination of abutting sides exhausting the rotational capacity of a single shape. The surface articulation within the homogenous shape allows us to achieve field effects unsolicited before forming various panel combinations.

The seminar designed and prototyped formed aluminum panel arrays for use in building envelopes. In order to incorporate highly crafted, custom panel manufacture, the design proposal limited tooling costs by limiting unit types. The unit is to be understood as a tessellation unit capable of drawing topographical fields with geometric rhythm.

Team Members: Miguel Alvarez, Alissa Hisoire, Carrie Smith

Jurors: Heather Roberge, Kevin Daly, Richard Weinstein, David Erdman, Peter Testa, Craig Hodgetts