Thursday, April 3, 2008


We ran into a couple problems at the site yesterday.

First, there is a large pile of frozen mulch right where the foundation is supposed to go:

The other problem was this creepy guy...


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bent Structural Plywood

Check out SITU STUDIO for a great example of plywood used in structural components. Go to work> projects> CITYSOL 2007.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Here are the threadrod canoe beams that we tested. Loaded to 685 lbs, before failure.

assembly time : half an hour.

Top spread 6 inches, bottom 14 inches.


Friday, February 29, 2008

rolled leaf

Matt Schlian

As a paper engineer my work is rooted in print media, book arts and commercial design. Beginning with an initial fold, a single action causes a transfer of energy to subsequent folds, which ultimately manifest in drawings and three dimensional forms. I use my engineering skills to create kinetic sculpture which have lead to collaborations with scientists at the University of Michigan. We work on the nanoscale, translating paper structures to micro origami. Our investigations extend to visualizing cellular division and solar cell development. Researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scientific principals; I see their inquiry as basis for artistic inspiration. In my studio I am a collaborator, explorer and inventor. I begin with a system of folding and at a particular moment the material takes over. Guided by wonder, my work is made because I cannot visualize its final realization; in this way I come to understanding through curiosity.

The root cause of Alzheimer’s disease is protein mis-folding. The modular arrangements in which protein strands are formed, break down and incorrectly fold. This causes a chain reaction of erroneous folding. My approach to understanding this is hands on; the microscopic folds can be mapped on a human scale out of paper and used as a basis for sculpture. Expanding and contracting in response to the viewer’s physical participation, new questions are raised; how can this form generate movement? How can size relate to the body? What happens when molecular forms become life-size and inhale the surrounding space?

My drawings begin by asking indirect questions which yield no concrete answers. As with my three dimensional work, my focus is on the process rather than final product. I am fascinated with computer technology and its ability to mistranslate information. Like a game of “telephone”, multiple software programs fracture and compound text and image as they travel through different formats on the computer. Bearing little resemblance to their origin, the new information is rendered on a pen plotter creating a chaotic world rooted in happenstance. No longer legible, I see the drawings as blueprints for invisible cities, answers to questions that may unfold over time.

mr. paper engineer

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Here are the light studies from the drilled shear panels.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fibrous Structures from AA

Arkitera Workshop Blog

I came across this blog while checking out Architectural Associations website. And after just a few minutes it's pretty easy to see how relevant this workshop is to our work. It has a parametric design and prototyping focused component to it and the students are in groups like "branching" and "weaving" working on cool structures... oh yeah, and their final project is a pavillion in Istanbul...check it out.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Cal Lane, sculptor

-interesting transformations of material- steel I-beams and car parts turned into lace with an oxy-acetylene torch... lots of great stuff and higher res images on her website:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008



Bricks have to be stacked perfectly, right?
-Go to Gramazio & Kohler's page and click on TEACHING and go through the links.
-Pretty cute.

Team Materials

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Matthias Pliessnig

Matthias Pliessnig lives in Madison. Let's go knock on his door.

Look at his website, these images only scratch the surface: