tectonic reinventions


Course: ARCH413

Roger Williams University

Spring 2023


9mm Baltic birch plywood

3mm okoume plywood

zip ties






(Scroll down for image gallery)

This installation floats above an open stair, spatially enhancing and guiding the path of vertical movement. Built of 3mm thick okoume plywood, the 15 foot long assembly weighs less than 25 pounds. Every triangular panel and connector piece is unique in shape.

The orientation in which it hangs was predicted by locating the center of gravity in the digital 3d model and then creating a simulation using the Kangaroo physics engine in Rhino/Grasshopper. The results were then verified with a physical scale model.

The goal of the course was to investigate methods of generating surfaces that maximize double curvature, which increases structural stiffness, and to then “unroll” these surfaces into flat, 2D patterns. In this case, the flat patterns are each a uniquely shaped triangle.  These triangular panels are connected together using a joinery method developed by the students though a process of full-scale prototyping. All components were digitally fabricated using a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) router.