SpaceStream uses generative computational strategies applied to welding SpaceStream uses generative computational strategies applied to welding
feb 15, 2016

SpaceStream uses generative computational strategies applied to welding

 
SpaceStream uses generative computational strategies applied to welding
(above) steel chair on B-Pro show
all images courtesy of SpaceStream                                                                                                                                                     

 

 

 

SpaceStream is a student project which aims to explore the influence of rule-based design systems on low-tech fabrication technique of welding. the research concentrates on wireframe structures, which are strengthened through subdivision of basic geometrical units and bundling and reinforcing of the main structural strands. the custom software used for this project is centredon dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm in combination with agent-based modelling techniques.

 

video courtesy of zhen shan

 

 

 

 

as the application was being developed in parallel with the design project, the software itself went through several iterations. from the very beginning, following up on the initial fabrication research, the basic design setup consisted of three-dimensional array of space filling polyhedrons. these initial geometrical units are subdivided in three iterations through the application of multi-agent system, which runs through the spatial grid in accordance to defined guide paths.

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
the digital modelling process and the rendering of the steel chair 

 

 

 

soon, as a conclusion of fabrication tests, it became apparent that in order to strengthen the 3D lattice, bundles of varying densities would have to be introduced into the system. as next step, bundles were generated through agents interacting with the lattice. a shortest path algorithm known as dijsktra algorithm was applied as the solution to the bundling problem. it proved as a suitable solution due to its computational efficiency, as through optimization it benefited the speed of the design process.

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
prototype of the chair

 

 

 

since the initial setup always consisted from polyhedrons of known dimensions, any design iteration from the digital applet was easily translatable into physical model made of welded metal wires. likewise, as each of the shortest path bundles (agent’s path) produced within the applet would record its value over the wires it crossed — similar to stigmergic calculation, the exact number of bundles and their length was known at any given moment. this way, the computational model acted as a direct blueprint for fabrication, with the ability of updating the instructions in real-time.

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
detail of the chair

 

 

 

finally, all of the design elements are tested synthetically as an architectural proposal – the ‘stream house’ –which manifests the structural and aesthetic properties by showcasing the 3D structural flows branching and transitioning seamlessly from vertical columns, to horizontal elements (floors, ceilings) and staircases, while forming the structural support as well as unifying all building elements into one coherent design.

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
staircase rendering

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
staircase rendering

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
staircase prototype made from steel wires (the bottom three steps taken from the digital design) 

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
prototype of the staircase

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
stream house 

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
stream house

spacestream project rc6 ad bartlett school architecture ucl designboom
fabrication

 

 

 

project info:

 

SpaceStream

design team members: zhen shan, mengying li, wenjian yang, shaoru wang
location: london, united kingdom
tutors: daniel widrig, soomeen hahm, stefan bassing

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: juliana neira | designboom

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