Assignment 2: Model Research & Construction

To realize many of our goals in this class, we're going to need lots of different "models". We're inspired by existing structures and the effectiveness of the technology that was used to design them. For example, last year we lamented over the poor design of Kresge auditorium whose geometric rather than structural shape was chosen perhaps in part due to the lack of appropriate design tools. To analyze this geometry with our new software we first needed an appropriate digital model. A simple program was written to generate meshes at different resolutions:

Similarly we'll need physical models to understand at a hands-on level the design technology used by Gaudi, Isler and others. Physical models allow us to compare and validate the digital design tools we create. Last year we explored different materials and components that could be used to create "construction kits" for structural design.

This is an individual assignment, but hopefully it will tie in closely to your group work. The assignment is relatively open, and you should choose a project which reflects your interests or strengths (such as programming, AutoCAD, physical models, etc.)

Sample ideas:

Week 1: Investigation, due Sunday October 24th @ midnight:

The first week you'll probably spend most of your time researching and selecting the specific structure or class of structures you want to model. Send us a brief email describing your progress. Depending on your project, your email might address these points:

Week 2: Implementation, due Sunday October 31st @ midnight

Make your model available (as appropriate) to the class. Be ready to give a short presentation in class (< 5 minutes).