Glacial Wall Prototypes in collaboration with; Rachel Sung, Dyani Robarge, Joselyn McDonald, Marnfah Kanjanavanit

Backed by CENTRIA, a fabricator and developer of architectural metal cladding systems, this project aimed at experimenting with robotic incremental metal forming to develop bespoke forms in metal. Initial tests were done on an individual basis, to inquire into different workflows to get at the aesthetic forms members wished to attain, as well as to push the limits of the material before tearing. After such testing, the students formed into a team to collaborate on a proposed installation. Prototypes for the final piece were produced and critiqued by both CENTRIA, as well as faculty to give a platform to the work to produce the final piece in March of 2017.     

FINAL DESIGN CONCEPT: THE GLACIAL WALL: Inspired by some of the geometries and effects produced in the first phases on the project, and the teams growing interest in creating topographical landscape conditions in the metal, we searched for natural precedents to emulate a global geometry from. The team settled on the formations of icebergs and glaciers afloat upon the sea, which allowed for the experimentation of forming the metal into organic shapes from which formed tracelines could emulate the effect of water flows between them.  

The forming process;

Final Glacial Wall Prototype: 

Design Concepts and Inspiration Imagery

Initial Inspirations and Subsequent Forming: The initial inspirations for our final direction for the installation came from smaller 2'X2' studies done by Rachel Sung, Dyani Robarge, and Joselyn McDonald. Using photogrammetry to capture shapes made by hand via clay molding or gesso, this resulted in geometry that was more unique and could not be as easily replicated using computer softwares alone. While later prototype tests were done using computer modelling, these original analogue studies proving a tipping point. In addition the use of the robot to lightly imprint on the material also came about during these tests. This later inspired the aesthetic of the water flow lines in the final pieces. Larger Panels were the product of collaboration with myself and the rest of the team

INITIAL GEOMETRIC STUDIES; PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS: In the period before the team merged to collaborate on the Glacial Wall Prototyping, team members individually investigated different shapes and geometries. Personally, I was fascinated by rotation. Original studies tested the ability for the metal to both form and twist to varying degrees using the robot tool. The geometries are very platonic, and later experiments attempted to create more a field effect using additional trace work or bowling to control the deflection of the sheet.