advisor: Andrew Witt
Adaptive Frames contends that the digitization of industrial production and the increased accessibility of computational analysis tools have blurred the boundaries between design, analysis and fabrication. This shift not only makes it easier for architects to rationalize and evaluate complex forms, it provides an opportunity to reconceive the way in which certain architectural structures are designed.
This project seeks to expand the area of inquiry around node and bar structures. The repetitive nature and underlying geometric principles of this class of structures have traditionally linked them to discourses on material economy and the capabilities of industrial production. They have been defined primarily by technical questions of joinery, tectonics and efficiency. These conversations have supplanted other architectural concerns such as scalar variation, nuanced spatial definition, and geometric adaptability.
The associated research creates a digital workflow to automate the design and production of a formally adaptable tetrahedral node and bar system. It covers the structural behavior, organizational principles and formal capabilities of this flat-packable system, including how nodes and bars can be mass-customized according to their position within the structure. In an effort to achieve formal sophistication within the existing production capabilities of the building industry, it uses readily available 3-axis machining techniques to fabricate press-fit node and bar elements from standard sheet materials.