Thursday, May 31, 2012

Routing the Pieces

As the design of the cart has finalized and the deadline approaches, the [R]ed[U]x Lab team begins to do what all great designers should be capable of - bringing their ideas to reality.  Rather than allow ideas languish in renderings and sketches, the team epitomizes Ryerson University's Department of Architectural Science's robust curriculum that not only nurtures innovative design, but also empowers them with a strong technical background that allows them to seamlessly bring their ideas to reality.
That the group began with conventional design development methods such as sketching and physical modelling, and moved on to experimentations with full scale mockups and digital tools (ranging from CAD and parametric modelling software to physical production tools such as the laser cutter and CNC router) is a testament to the department's strengths.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Things Look Great on the Surface . . . .

As we continue to develop the underlining structure, we ventured into various iterations of possible table top surfaces. We established four different geometries that showcase a multitude of material effects that inherently produce unique lighting conditions. As we move forward, the integration of the table top will inevitably unveil detailing oppotunities using embedded lighting fixtures within the primary cart structure.     

Iteration 1
Iteration 1: Lighting Test
Iteration 2
Iteration 2: Lighting Test
Iteration 3
Iteration 3: Lighting Test
Iteration 4
Iteration 4: Lighting Test

Friday, May 25, 2012

Experiments in Materials

Though resins and composites were looked at for the shell capacities and lightweight rigidity that could be developed, the experiments highlighted financial limitations and production effects that would compromise the design's response to the program.  Nonetheless, the experiments hold potential for future development in future projects. Sometimes design work is best saved for another project application.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Physical Permutations - Version Three

Hardware is now inclusive of all our explorations, both for its aesthetic and structural qualities. It has narrowed our form explorations and, consequently lead to decisions on structure (as we initially hoped!). 

In keeping with the idea of fluidity and continuity, the detailing of the cart will be resultant on the integration of digital explorations grounded by the physical realm.
The amalgation of digital and physical information within a the parameters of material and hardware should help guide us.

With form and structure on the run, the use of light has to now come into play. The layering of the material strips allows for some very interesting light and shadow; the next challenge will be incorporating it into the structure itself.

But hey, our clamp count is down! We must be doing something right...


Weave detail

Fewer clamps!


Light and shadow

Physical Permutations - Version Two

 Hardware! How wonderful it is in aiding our ability to manipulate material. Every day, the wood seems to bend a little more than it did before.

Our explorations are still guided by the desire to find the form; something layered and fluid and sinuous. Structural concerns about how the layered "strips" all tie together are simmering on the burner; finalizing the formal qualities of the design will ultimately lead us to understanding how it will all come together.

Bolted connection detail

Still plenty of clamps...

Form evolution

1:5 Explorations

Our design group then went about creating a scale model which was useful for designing the cart's substructure, and for generating key connection points for the outer shell. It was also used to develop a more formalized gesture through the proportional pinning and fanning of the wood slats.

We then came to the conclusion that the cart would optimally interface with the ground at three points, evolving from the overarching rib that supports the canopy.

We are intent on exploring the opposing possibilities of form generating structure, or structure generating form.

Scale model with an iteration of the cladding

Physical Permutations - Version One

There were smiles all around as the team embarked on 1:1 iterations. We were feeling optimistic about discovering novel ways of combining old techniques with new technology.

Design exploration centered around manipulation of the material in various planes was enlightening; while challenges in finding a way to maintain form and structural integrity emerged symbiotically, the true limits of the material became apparent as well.

Yes, there will be fewer clamps as we move along.


Easy does it...
Preliminary detail study
Form exploration, and the first prototype

Development Proceeding as Planned

As the design continues to develop, there is an increasing desire to push the boundaries of material properties and form in the design of the cart. Where convention and utilitarian ideals focus upon more conservative and restrained approaches, the [R]ed[U]x Lab's design team has taken upon itself to stand out and use this project as a showcase of its experiments with material properties and haptic design approaches. 

Sketches and Design Iterations

Slowly but surely the [R]ed[U]x Lab team has been translating their ideas to prototypes.  Here are some of the conceptual sketches that have been put forth.  These are just concepts for now; the actual design that is shaping up in the Department of Architectural Science is far more than just conceptual.  Technically this project will be a challenge on account of its smaller scale and material explorations that the team wishes to undertake.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Back to Work...

As the university's Winter term draws to an end, the [R]ed[U]x Lab team once again finds ways to keep busy through the summer months. We are extremely excited to be part of this year's Night Market Cart design presented by The Stop Community Food Centre, a charitable organization that, among other things, "strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds healt and community and challenges inequality". On June 20th (summer solstice), some of Toronto's notable chefs will be preparing and selling food from carts created by equally innovative artists and designers in Toronto's Honest Ed's Alley (581 Bloor Street West).