, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 221-234
Date: 25 Feb 2011

Interlocking, Ribbing and Folding: Explorations in Parametric Constructions

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Abstract

This paper presents three projects involving the design and fabrication of architectural structures through the use of different parametric software and digital manufacturing methods. The first project is a flexible partition composed of interlocking elements shaped using a laser-cutter. The second project is a university exhibition unit made with various wooden panels manufactured through a computer numerical controlled (CNC) system. The third project is a system of metal sheets folded by digital machines to create urban circulation spaces. The three works develop a parametric programming of geometry based on certain technical factors, enabling the recognition of patterns of interaction between formal and constructive issues involved in the definition of shapes through parametric controls. Differences in materials and processes are contrasted by similarities of function and conditions involved, creating a system of local, global, productive and environmental parameters that produces a repertoire of self-similar dimensions and variations as well as multiple possibilities of initial setups and final configurations. It suggests a specific field of design exploration focusing on the development of differentiated components and variable architectural configurations, in a kind of open parametric system.