Knitted Cloud

title02_Knitted Cloud

Instructor: Marcelo Spina

Team: Mehrzad Rafeei,Somayyeh Ramezani,

Summer Studio 2012, Sci-Arc

Contemporary digital design has always had a certain disconnection with its possible physical incarnation. Abstracted away from material properties, digital geometry floats in Euclidean space unaware of the physical constraint of what it represents. Our project attempts to bridge that divergence. Knitted Cloud is a digital fabricated and mass customized solution for an expandable urban canopy system. It is the result of an integrated process involving handcrafted manufacturing and generative digital design applied for robotic mass production. The handcrafted fabrication of the weave semi rigid textile tectonic serves as logic for a generative script that allows for multiple variations in design consistent with the physical form.

Our design approach is generating a “network Cluster” of smaller units rather than a large mega structure aiming to shield large sporting events in Qatar Stadium from direct sunlight while providing favorable climate environment. Regarding to that, the idea that we took is based on the Catenary System which commonly used to evenly apply pre-tensioning loads on to membranes for space inflatable structures.

In this experience the physical model is created by suspending pieces of knitted carbon fiber curvy surfaces from an acrylic net base. Carbon fiber based units are in pure tension, as it cannot take any compression due to its flexibility. Therefore the form it finds contains the pure tensile force within the envelope of the string.

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