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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vase/ Pitcher Interrupted...


An additional set of designs that, in a similar manner to the Meat&Bone designs but through a different set of means, use some of the idiosyncrasies of the FDM process as a feature in the final design... 

In this instance the 'Sparse' setting of the fabrication process - which allows one to save material in thicker bulk/ wall builds by creating a (usually hidden) grid/ lattice within the mass - is here allowed to become 'exposed' in all its perpendicular glory by both, A) manually interrupting the fabrication process mid build to reveal the inner grid and, even before commencing such a build, B) designing the digital file with enough 'residual' volume to allow for such interruptions without the final design appearing 'stumped'... 

More examples of 1:1 FDM design using both the 'Interrupted' and the 'Meat&Bone' technique in future submissions... 






Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Seasons Greetings & Happy Holidays...

Campground at the Inland Sea in Qatar...

Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays from us all...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shared Glass Exhibition at Katara Cultural Village, Doha...

'Ressurected' by Amin Matni (Image sourced from designboom


Last week we had an opening at the Katara Cultural Village here in Doha titled 'Shared Glass', displaying the work of both our Graduate Students here at VCUQ, as well as the designers working at Fabrica, based in Treviso, Italy, where also all the pieces were designed and fabricated during the latter half of a ten day workshop this summer... 

I think the work is absolutely brilliant, and provides an appropriate summary of the talents and skills of our students... 

The exhibit takes place in Building 5 at the Katara Cultural Village, and ends on January 7, 2012. 


For additional commentaries and coverage of the event on other web-sites click here and here (which is in Italian)... 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Segregated Greenery, Doha...


There's not much grass, nor that many trees, here in Doha. Education City, the locale shared by a number of international academic institutions (all functioning under the umbrella of the Qatar Foundation) has about an even distribution of 'real' and artificial greenery. Aspire Park, located behind two shopping malls, also has a fair share trees and grass, but beyond that, within the more residential, business or commercial areas of the city, it's difficult to think of any, particularly public, communal areas that are green. That is, until I drove by on this orbital slip-road at the outskirts of Doha, which, within its somewhat hermetic confines, retained a quite an alluring bit of flora & fauna as well as paved pedestrian paths. It even had a tunnel connecting this little park to the one on the other side of the adjacent highway - quite blissful... 

The trouble is that there is actually no way of accessing these parks. No slip or access roads, no parking, no pedestrian underpasses (from the next door residential areas)... These pedestrian paths weren't made for walking, its soft grass isn't for sitting on, the flowerbeds' fragrances can't be appreciated, the shade of the trees cannot be enjoyed... The parks have been placed here as pure eye-candy - to be seen (through a windscreen whilst whizzing by) but not to be perceived on a more comprehensive and multi-sensory level...  

Which is a true shame, as this scale of urban interventions is exactly what the city of Doha is in need of - but not here in the middle of triple-lane highways and slip-roads - but in more (by foot) easy to reach, densely packed and populated urban neighborhoods. The city is in dire need of these, both literal and ethereal, breathing spaces and rest-stops.

Perhaps it's time to begin questioning the prevailing, mostly macro scale - sweepingly pervasive - templates currently used in the creation of urban settings and neighborhoods and begin constructing them from the bottom up - one sidewalk curb, bespoke concrete floor tile, street light, public seating, shop front, parking spot, shaded walkway, grass, bush and tree - at a time... Intervene, even drastically, where it's needed - leave be a neighborhood spot, where doing nothing is better... But such mediations need to be conceived and implemented starting from recognizing and analyzing each neighborhood's, block's, street's, sidewalk's, and curb's idiosyncrasies, and then gradually build a bigger, better understood and customized, more comprehensive and reflective plan...

Doha as a city has so much potential. Let's begin doing it justice and make its meso/ medium scaled spaces what they want and need to be. Placing parks like these into more accessible, both residential and commercial, environs would be a good start... 


Monday, November 21, 2011

Laser-Toast - Probably the Best CAD-CAM'ed PBJ Sandwich Ever...

Close-up of the top laser-toasted bread slice...


A fandango food folly, of sorts... Here a laser-cutter was used to cut/ etch - toast - some slices of bread for a Peanut-Butter & Jelly Sandwich... Each of the sandwiches slices is divided into twelve, numbered and matched, 'bites'. Each bite includes corresponding, same size, cavities into that secure that equal quantities of both peanut-butter and jelly are distributed into each of the numbered bites. The cavities of the middle slices are misaligned in comparison to each other to make sure the won't mix and become too gooey before the mastication phase... A number of different cutting settings were used to create a variety of bespoke cuts across the toast planes. The 'toasting' patterned (wave-like) cuts are dense and shallow; the 'bite' cuts are a bit deeper to allow for each of the twelve bite segments to break off; and the cavities for the peanut-butter and jelly have been cut all the way through...

The laser-cut Peanut-Butter & Jelly sandwich was the best ever Buildware (CAD-CAM) made sandwich I've ever had..! 


Top, left to right: Top Slice, Top-Middle-Slice, Bottom-Middle-Slice, Bottom Slice...

Exploded view of the PBJ Sandwiches layers...

Top and bottom sides of the assembled PBJ Sandwich...

The cavities of the middle-slices are misaligned in comparison to each other, thus assuring an equal quantity of both peanut-butter and jelly in each bite...

A number of different settings were used to allocate different types and depths of cuts across the toast planes...

Each numbered 'bite' breaks off easily from the PBJ Sandwiches main body...

A sequential breakdown of the CAD-CAM PBJ Sandwiches 'bites'...

The assembled CAD-CAM PBJ sandwich...

Close-up of the Bottom Slice...

A short movie showing the making of the CAD-CAM PBJ Sandwiches Top Slice...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hotel Room Views...

Barcelona, Spain 

Helsinki, Finland 

 Celebration, Florida 


Luxembourg, Luxembourg 

Amsterdam, Holland 

Seoul, Korea

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Testudo Dining Set/ Space...

 The set's Left chair...

Initially designed almost two decades ago during my Senior year at Parsons, the Testudo Dining set/ Space (AKA the Turtle Dining Set) has finally been realized. The design, which in this rendition consists of eight  high-backed chairs around a table, was perhaps partly inspired and named after the Roman battle formation Testudo (Turtle in Latin) where individual units (in this case chairs) are positioned in a 'wrapping' formation around a core (a table), thus defining a space. The dining set is intended for large open interiors, where it can provide its own kind of intimacy/ framed space by its set-up alone... 

Four different chair types - each repeated twice -  are needed to complete the design. These are the Left & Right Chairs, the Middle Chair and the End Chair, which are placed around the rectangular table. All the pieces were made of solid beech (bok in Swedish, pyƶkki in Finnish). The completed design has a wax finish... 

The design has gone through a number of iterations since its conception, involving a major overhaul during our time in London as Small Architecture (nowadays Independent Architects) when its current frame based formation was developed (it used to be much more solid before). This, in turn, needed to be further tweaked (mainly it proportions and dimensions) to enable it to be fabricated locally... 

The fabrications required its fair share of supervision, toing & froing with the carpenters regarding the details, and we (well, Maysaa) did the final (Finland sourced) waxing of the set, but we're very happy with the end result... 


 The Turtle Dining Set & Space...

The End Chair... 

The Right Chair... 

The Middle Chair... 

 The, roughly 100 kilogram, solid beech table...




Above & below - close-ups of some of the details... 



The beech table and seat planes...


 Following up and inspecting a prototype  at the factory...

 Junior furniture tester determining the seat's comfort coefficient...

A bamboo pulp bowl and set of plates from Holland, an Iittala glass dispenser, and a kuksa, are framed by the Testudo chairs... 


A short, still a bit raw, animation made during the development of the design...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Meat & Bone Vases and Bowls...


A few additional examples from the Meat & Bone series - where the usually discarded/ removed, but in its own right quite strong (if brittle) and beautiful, FDM support material is allowed to perform the role of a protagonist in the final design. Also, as in the previous submissions, here the different software based settings for distributing the supports are used as design components, i.e. the 'white bits' (made of ABS plastic) are distributed and the supports are allowed to 'grow' up to brace them - consequently the somewhat funky shapes of the brown bits...

An additional engaging quality about these designs is that, in a way, they openly acknowledge, even celebrate a bit, the slight degrees of unpredictability and randomness, even 'imperfections' (in a wab-sabi sort of way) of the digital fabrication processes, which still all too often are considered as almost faultless - 'we can make almost anything' - kinds of machines/ fabricators... These designs aim not to do that, but instead take a step back, and try to recognize the true material, sensory (textural, aural, olfactory, proprioceptive, etc.) digital & virtual, thrills and seductive qualities affiliated with making things through the various Buildware/ CAD-CAM processes... 

More related submissions to come in the future...


 The Meat & Bone (M&B/ MaB) Castle Vase...

The CAD (Catalyst Ex 4.2) version of the Castle Vase...



 The MaB Wing-Commander Vase/ Bowl...




The MaB Ring Bowl...